Matthew 12:22–32 (ESV)
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this
be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts,
he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom
of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever
is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And
whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
The Pharisees accuse Jesus is receiving his power from Beelzebul (the prince of demons) instead of the Holy Spirit. We see Jesus laying out some important doctrine of the Trinity working together. The Holy Spirit works through the Father
and the Son. I remember Dr. Scaer at the seminary saying that whenever one sees Jesus, you see the Holy Spirit. They are not separable. Yet Jesus is saying that you can blaspheme him (Jesus) and still be forgiven. But if you blaspheme
the Holy Spirit, you cannot be forgiven. This is the unforgiveable sin. I like to think of it as an army is on the move chasing the enemy and when they cross the bridge… they blow it up. Now if the enemy starts to overpower them, they
cannot retreat because the bridge is destroyed. There is no going back. It is the Holy Spirit that does the converting. Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins, but the Holy Spirit is needed to repent and to be converted. You cannot
blow the bridge and then retreat. If you have cut off the Holy Spirit, there is no forgiveness (the bridge is blown). I will say this, that committing the unforgiveable sin is very difficult. If you are worried that you have committed it,
you haven’t. The fact that you are still concerned shows that the Holy Spirit is still at work in you.
I pray: O Lord, I must admit that there
are times I question you, or even get mad at you. I repent and know that I am the one in the wrong, that you ARE love! Help me to trust you and to walk according to your ways, knowing that I am not saved by my walk, but by the faith you have given
Matthew 12:15–21 (ESV)
God’s Chosen Servant
15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to
fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Behold, my servant
whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put
my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21 and in his
name the Gentiles will hope.”
Jesus, the Servant of the Lord, proclaimed justice to all nations, a justice that rightfully condemns sinners. Yet
Jesus fulfilled the demands of that justice by His perfect life and innocent death on the cross. We, Christ’s present-day ambassadors, do well to follow His example as we proclaim His message. We will not save anyone by being argumentative and quarrelsome.
The Gospel of Christ alone is the power of God for salvation (Rm 1:16).
pray: Grant me patience, Lord, not to quarrel or cry aloud as I share the Gospel with others. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (pp. 1604–1605). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
Matthew 12:9–14 (ESV)
A Man with a Withered Hand
9 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that
they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value
is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But
the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, because he is God. The Pharisees were so against Jesus
that they were blinded by their own sin of hatred that they missed the point that Jesus was teaching them. It is ok to do “good” on the Sabbath, especially when it is a fellow brother in need. In their blindness, they conspired against
him, how to destroy him.
I pray: O Lord, help me to not let hatred rule and ruin my life. Help me to love my neighbor and to take care of him.
Matthew 12:1–8 (ESV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His
disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He
said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those
who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater
than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of
I can see where the Pharisees are coming from when they condemn Jesus. They see him
as a mere man, instead of seeing him as the promised Messiah. He is 100% man, but he is also 100% God. Jesus is the creator of the world. He is the creator of the Sabbath.. “For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
If the Pharisees rightly understood who Jesus really is, then there would not have been confusion and they wouldn’t have been trying to kill him. Perspective can often change the way we see things. Jesus desires mercy, and not sacrifice.
I pray: O Lord, help us to never lose sight that you are God. Help us to praise, worship, and follow you. Amen.
Matthew 11:25–30 (ESV)
Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you,
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All
things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.”
The thing hidden from the wise and understanding
is God’s gracious plan of salvation, the message that both Jesus and John the Baptist proclaimed. Jesus’ contemporaries by and large rejected Him, preferring to live under the heavy yoke of the Law as the way to salvation. Jesus invites us to receive
the yoke of the Gospel, which guarantees true rest.
pray: Dearest Jesus, I praise You that when I am yoked to You, no burden is too heavy. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1603). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.