Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jesus' Response to the Pharisees In Three Parts

1) Satan is a formidable enemy. Sometimes a person tries to resist evil without first submitting to God, and Satan pays no attention to that. Jesus said
"If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?" (Matthew 12:26)
Satan wouldn't be very likely to drive himself out, because that would divide his own kingdom and weaken his base of power. Only someone more powerful than Satan would be able to rescue the people in his possession – only the power of God Himself could do it.

Anyway, this accusation was illogical from the Pharisees’ own point of view too, since there were Jewish exorcists - you can read about them in Acts - who were apparently successful.

Jesus asked them,
"And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges." (Matthew 12:27
2) Satan is a terrible enemy, but he is not omnipotent, as God is. He can’t do everything. In fact, he can only do what God will permit. The devil and his demons have been defeated by Christ's triumph at the cross. Death and hell no longer have any hold over God’s people.
"But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matthew 12:28)
Only God has the power and the authority to drive out Satan, or to hold him back. All throughout the New Testament, demons recognized Christ as the Holy One of God, and were afraid of Jesus; they had to obey His authorit

3) Jesus was the only one strong enough to tie up the strong man and rob the world of the people he oppressed,
“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 plunder his house." (Matthew 12:29)
and bring them into the kingdom of God where they would be free for all eternity. There is no neutral place.

Either you belong to Jesus, who has come into the strong man’s house to rescue you and free you from him, or you are a prisoner of the strong man
“Whoever is not with me is against me" (Matthew 12:30
What’s more, you are either with Jesus, gathering those who want to be free, or you are against Jesus, preventing others from being rescued
"...and whoever does not gather with me scatters" (Matthew 12:30)

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