Matthew 12:22-45

The Pharisees Rebuked

Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man both spoke and saw. All the people wondered in amazement, and said, “Could this be the Son of David (the Messiah)?” But the Pharisees heard it and said, “This man [a]casts out demons only by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan) the prince of the demons.”

Knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will [continue to] stand. If Satan casts out Satan [that is, his demons], he has become divided against himself and disunited; how then will his kingdom stand? If I cast out the demons by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan), by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [before you expected it]. Or how can anyone go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man? Then he will ransack and rob his house.

The Unpardonable Sin

He who is not with Me [once and for all on My side] is against Me; and he who does not [unequivocally] gather with Me scatters.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy [every evil, abusive, injurious speaking, or indignity against sacred things] will be forgiven people, but [b]blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Words Reveal Character

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is recognized and judged by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man, from his [inner] good treasure, brings out good things; and the evil man, from his [inner] evil treasure, brings out evil things. But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak. For by your words [reflecting your spiritual condition] you will be justified and acquitted of the guilt of sin; and by your words [rejecting Me] you will be condemned and sentenced.”

The Desire for Signs

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign (attesting miracle) from You [proving that You are what You claim to be].” But He replied and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation [that is morally unfaithful to God] craves and demands a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up [as witnesses] at the judgment against this generation, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now, something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South (Sheba) will stand up [as a witness] at the judgment against this generation, and will condemn it because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon; and now, something greater than Solomon is here.

“Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So will it also be with this wicked generation.”


Footnotes
  1. Matthew 12:24 A statement of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. See vv 31, 32.
  2. Matthew 12:31 Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is denying all the work of the Holy Spirit. This leads ultimately to rejecting the deity of Christ.

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