Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fresh Studies in Matthew, Matthew 12:22-32

These verses seem simple on the surface but really are a mystery.  Our former pastor, who has moved to a larger church and got a lot of notoriety from a sermon he preached on a sensitive issue, used to explain that the rabbis taught that the Messiah (according to Edersheim, I think) would heal the blind and raise the dead.  So Jesus does, which leads to verse 23, the multitudes believing in him.  “Multitudes” is a tricky word. Thousands, in the book of Acts, believed in the early church, and they were Jews in Jerusalem, so the Jews per se were not against Jesus.  But multitudes also were calling for his crucifixion.  These multitudes did not have to deal with social and mass media, which give a faulty view of reality.

On cue, the Pharisees claim he can cast out demons because he is controlled by Satan, that is, a sorcerer. Jesus claims to do it by the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit), and they have called that Spirit Satanic, therefore committing blasphemy.  This is a point of no return, not knowing the difference between the Holy Spirit and Satan and openly and deliberately confusing them.  It is all part and parcel of the continued rejection of the revealed Christ, who says, “You’re either with me or against me” in verse 29.  Perhaps the things about Matthew 12 is that it is a line in the sand, one we don’t necessarily like.  I have a fellow instructor friend who is so very fun and affable in class that when he fails (or assigns a failing grade, I should say) to a student, the students find it incongruous.  We want the kind, happy, Jesus, with children on his knees.

If Jesus took the Meyers-Briggs test, what would be his letters?  For some of us, they would be our own, because we think our combination is the best!  Maybe he should be E, I, N, P, T, J, etc., since he is  the Alpha and Omega and every letter in between.  I’m being a wise guy here, since the Lord Jesus Christ transcends such test (especially the Meyers-Briggs, which is not really as reliable or predictive as people who tout it want it to be).

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