This is our fifth study on this topic. Please click HERE for an intro to this study.
Matthew 12:13-14; 22-25
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
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.
First of all, in both cases by healing the men Jesus demonstrated His deity. Then in both cases The Pharisees had a negative reaction. In the first case they plotted to kill Him, and in the second case they contributed the healing to Beelzebub (Satan).
I’m not sure what is going on with the Pharisees, but I will take a guess. In both healings they were jealous of His power and deity; they didn’t want Him to be more powerful than they were. I think they also didn’t want their own sin and corruption to be revealed. So, they did whatever they could think of to make Him look bad. Notice in verse 24 they called Him, “this fellow.”
It is also possible that they could not recognize that Jesus was a good man, because of their own depravity. Hence their sin and corruption caused their thinking to be depraved and reversed, so that they saw good as evil and evil as good (Rom. 1:28; Isa. 5:20).
I did not include what Jesus did, but that is the application. In the first case when the Pharisees plotted to kill Him, Jesus simply withdrew from them and continued healing people (v. 15). Hence, the Pharisees threats did not deter Jesus’ mission.
In the next case, when the Pharisees said that He was casting out demons by Beelzebub (Satan), Jesus took that as an opportunity to teach. Some teacher I think would be offended and walk away. But Jesus showed His compassion as a truth teacher. Here is His teaching:
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.
30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.