22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.”

Matt 12:22-29 (NIV)

My husband always tells me you can’t make sense out of nonsense unless - of course - you are aware of the motive lurking behind the words or actions. Our Lord knew the thoughts of His adversaries. He was cognizant of their devious schemes – ever looking for ways to trap Him and to convince those following Him that He was up to folly. In our verses for today, Jesus took the Pharisees nonsensical accusations and showed them for the foolishness that they truly were.

“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

Jesus had graciously just performed a God sized miracle – a miracle too hard for man to accomplish – restoring sight and sound to the blind mute. The man’s case was a sad one indeed – demonic possession had left him in a miserable state – unable to help himself or even speak to others for help. Satan has a way of making every life miserable he comes into contact with. In mercy, Jesus heals. The viewers of the miraculous were overwhelmed – quite literally beside themselves with amazement and wonder. They knew healings like this had to be the handiwork of God. And so the crowds began to question: "Could this be the Son of David?" In other words: “Is this not the promised Messiah and Savior of the world?” The common people could not miss it. Surely, this had to send these religious leaders into a terrific tizzy. Their pride-fullness had prevented their embracing the Prince of Peace. Therefore, they immediately jumped on trumped up accusations against the Lord as their thoughts were the product of a deep rooted malignity. They should have remembered the Proverb:

30 Do not accuse a man for no reason--when he has done you no harm. Prov 3:30 (NIV)

The Pharisees who loved the praise of men could not bear to hear the applause of the people towards another – particularly the likes of the Lord Jesus. Their pride could not handle favorable words spoken yet not to them. It sent them reeling. Pride is such an insidious monster. They scornfully and blasphemously speak against His miracles which they could not deny. There was no mistaking the demon possessed blind mute was healed. It was a matter of fact – plain as the nose on their faces. And they did not like it one little bit. Pride always looks foolish fleshed out.

13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Prov 8:13 (NIV)

10 Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Prov 13:10 (NIV)

37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Dan 4:37 (NIV)

(Nebuchadnezzar should know – he was still getting the grass out of his teeth when he said this!)

"We make our choices and then our choices make us. Our everyday choices reveal what we really desire. The essence of sin is pride. The heart of sin is independence and the core of sin is demanding my own way instead of God's." Pat Singleterry

“Don’t slack off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted people to strive for, and a degree of which you have had in conversion. Thus pray that your eyes may be opened, that you may receive sight, that you may know your self and be brought to God’s feet, and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, may be raised from the dead, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. Those that have most of these things still need to pray for them; for there so much blindness and hardness and pride and death remaining that they still need to have that work of God upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them. This will be a further bringing out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, and a kind of new conversion...” Jonathan Edwards, Advice to Young Converts.

Jesus begins to counter their accusations with Truth – wisdom is proved right by her actions. Our Lord makes the obvious point that kingdoms cannot stand which are divided against themselves. The common end to divisions is desolation. How silly for them to assume Satan would cast his own out and stand with Christ! Also, there were some Jews at this time that drove out evil spirits by calling on the Name of the Most High God. These Pharisees did not condemn them rather imputed what they did to the Spirit of God yet because of envy and spite towards Jesus, they suggest He was in cahoots with Beelzebub. Judgments done in envy are not made by reason rather prejudice.

What I Glean

  • Jesus graciously performed the miraculous to confirm He was sent by God.
  • Pride will blind me to reason.
  • The essence of sin is pride.