Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XV: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen By The Opposition To His Ministry, Matthew 11:2-16:12
F. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Teaching On The Unpardoned Sin
(Matthew 12:22-37)
  1. Introduction
    1. Matthew's Gospel reveals that Jesus is God's Messiah to Israel though He did not establish His Messianic Kingdom at His first coming because Israel rejected Him. (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV , 1978, p. 1337, "Introduction to the Gospel According to Matthew"; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 16)
    2. To validate Jesus' identity as Messiah regardless of His rejection, Matthew 12:22-37 reveals how Israel's leaders committed a sin not to be pardoned by God, a sin that sealed the fate of that generation of Israel when God refused to give them the Kingdom. We view that matter with applications for us today:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Teaching On The Unpardoned Sin, Matthew 12:22-37.
    1. When a party brought Jesus a man who was blind and mute due to demonic possession, Christ so fully healed him that he both spoke and saw, Matthew 12:22.
    2. The onlookers were amazed, and asked if Jesus could be the Messiah, Matthew 12:23; Ibid., p. 46.
    3. However, when the Pharisees heard this statement by the crowds, they interpreted the healing in the opposite manner, claiming Jesus exorcised demons by Satan's power, Matthew 12:24; Ibid., p. 42.
    4. This sin was not only against Jesus Himself, but against the Holy Spirit by Whose power Jesus performed His miracles, making the Pharisees' claim blasphemy against God the Holy Spirit, a sin which would not be forgiven them. Accordingly, Jesus explained this situation in Matthew 12:25-37 as follows:
      1. In Matthew 12:25-29, Jesus told how illogical was the idea that He cast out demons by Satan's power:
        1. First, every kingdom, city or house divided against itself will not stand, so if Satan cast out demonic powers, his kingdom could not stand, what clearly does not occur in actual life, Matthew 12:25-26.
        2. Second, Jesus said that if He cast demons out by Satan's power, there would be no basis for the Pharisees to claim that their own exorcists performed their exorcism feats apart from Satan's power, thus countering their argument as applied to the exorcist ministries they upheld, Matthew 12:27.
        3. Third, if Jesus then cast out demons by the power of the Spirit of God and not by Satan's power, the Kingdom of God was come, and the Pharisees were responsible to trust in Him, Matthew 12:28.
        4. Fourth, Jesus used the analogy of entering a strong man's house and spoiling his goods only after one has first bound the strong man to argue that His exorcisms of demons had been accomplished by the fact that Satan had first been bound, meaning He worked against Satan, Matthew 12:29.
      2. Having thus shown the illogic of their charge that He cast demons out by Satan's power, Jesus condemned the Pharisees as having committed a sin that would not be pardoned, Matthew 12:30-32: if those who were not with Him were against Him, Jesus said that all kinds of sin and slander, even that against Himself, would be forgiven men except the slander against the Holy Spirit by which He performed His miracles to reveal He was the Messiah in fulfillment of prophecy, Matt. 12:30, 31-32.
      3. Jesus then used several figures of speech to condemn the Pharisees as being corrupt, unsaved men who made blasphemous claims against the Holy Spirit in accord with their unsaved status, Matt. 12:33-35.
      4. Accordingly, all people will give an account for every word they speak in the final judgment as their words will reveal their hearts and will either justify or condemn themselves, Matthew 12:36-37.
Lesson: When the Pharisees claimed Jesus' miracles that fulfilled Scripture toward His authentication as the Messiah were performed by Satan, not by the Holy Spirit, and since this charge was contrary even to human logic, God closed the door to their forgiveness, for they rejected the only evidence they were given of God to prove Jesus was the Messiah, thus effectively closing the door to their salvation.

Application: (1) This non-forgiven sin cannot be committed today, for Christ is not on earth performing miracles by the Holy Spirit's power to authenticate His identity as Messiah, Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Matthew 12:31. (2) However, we must not today make (a) illogically and (b) unbiblically negative statements about God's servants or their efforts lest we resist God's work through them, and so face His discipline!