Harmony of the Gospels

 Harmony of the Gospels

-AD 28-
-Capernaum-
(24) Jesus Accused of Blasphemy
Matthew 12:22-37, Mark 3:20-30, Luke 11:14-23

 

-Matthew-

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you
.

 

Jesus cast a demon out of a man who was both blind and deaf; what a sad condition.  Those that witnessed this were full of admiration, and they exclaimed, “Is not this the son of David?” 

It was to be expected that the Pharisees would be informed about what had happened, and their reaction was predictable, because they were jealous of the Lord.  They declared to the people that Jesus had done this miracle by the power of Satan.  By this accusation, they brought upon themselves the judgment of God. 

Jesus answered the accusation, and in the process showed how absurd it was.  Satan would not destroy his own kingdom.  But if it was not through the power of Satan, it was by the finger of God, and the kingdom of God was among them in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Notice, that the Pharisees admitted that the demons were cast out.  There was never any attempt by the religious leaders to deny that the miracles happened. How could they; they saw it with their own eyes.

-Mark-

20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

In verses 20 and 21, Mark gives us some information that Mathew did not. 

The crowd gathered around Jesus and pressed in upon Him, so that there was not room enough to eat.  However, He was kind toward them and welcomed them and gave them the attention they sought, despite the inconvenience and hardship it caused Him. 

When His friends in Capernaum heard about the huge crowd and how hard Jesus worked to minister to them, they came to get Him, and to take Him home, because they said, “He is beside himself.”  In other words, they thought He was in need of rest, or He may lose control of His faculties.  At this time, we know that even His family did not believe in Him, because we read in John 7:5, “For even his brothers didn't believe in him.”  And so they were willing to believe that the enthusiasm He showed for His work was due to a crazed intellect. 

Jesus did not return to Capernaum with his friends and family, but continued His work and that leads us back to the accusation made by the religious leaders.

 

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

These Scribes had come down from Jerusalem for the purpose of hindering the progress and invalidating the work of Jesus.  The reputation of these learned men would have had an influence not only upon the local people, but also upon the country Scribes.  It had never occurred to the local Scribes to make such a vile accusation against Christ until the Scribes from Jerusalem put it into their heads.  They could not deny that He cast out demons, which was testimony to His coming from God; but they insinuated that He had Beelzebub on His side, was in league with him and by the prince of devils cast out devils.  However, there was no trick in how Christ cast out demons, because He did it as one having authority.  Christ gave a very rational answer to this accusation, which demonstrated the absurdity of it.  He stated that Satan is so subtle, that he will never voluntarily quit his possession; “If Satan cast out Satan, his kingdom is divided against itself, and cannot stand.”

Jesus called them to Him; He was kind toward them and wanted to reason with them, to stop their finger pointing.  It was clear that Christ made war on Satan’s kingdom, through His doctrine and miracles, and He had the ability to break his power, and to drive his demons out of the bodies of men.  It is unimaginable that Christ would come into fellowship with Satan, and everyone knows that Satan is no fool, and that he will not act directly against his own interests.  The Lord was at war with Satan and his forces, and He attacked them where ever He found them, even in the bodies of men.  

 

-Luke-

14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.
15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

The man was blind and dumb, but it was the demon that made him that way.  There was some that said that He cast out the demon through the aid of Beelzebub.  There accusation is an example of a horrible blindness; one that cannot be healed when the power of God is blasphemed by an evil conscience.  The true way to know the true Christ from the false one is this, that the true Christ will have nothing to do with Satan; and once we know Him, it is our joy to acknowledge Him.  Jesus said, “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils,” meaning the power and Spirit of God; however the implication is that it did not require any great effort on his part.

 

-Matthew-

29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

The truth is that the presence of Jesus put everything to the test, because God had centered everything in Him.  Those that would not be with Him would be counted against Him.  Everything now depended upon Him alone.  He would bear all their unbelief in His own person, because grace would remove it.  He could pardon all sin; but speaking against and blasphemy the Holy Spirit (That is, to acknowledge the exercise of power, that is from God, and to attribute it to Satan.)  could not be pardoned; for the Pharisees admitted that the devil was cast out, but with malice and wide-eyed hatred for God they attributed it to Satan.  What pardon could there be for this, either in the age of the Law on in the age of grace.  Their fate had been decided.  He wanted them to understand.  The fruit of a tree was proof of its nature, and their fruit was essentially bad.  They were a generation of snakes; John had said this, and now Jesus reiterated it.  Their words condemned them.  But they went further by asking Him for a sign.  This was pure wickedness, because they had been given enough signs.  They only wanted to stir up the unbelief in the rest of the people.

 

-Mark-

27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
 
It is clear that Christ wanted to enter into the strong man’s house, to take possession of all his interests in the world, to ruin his goods, and to convert them into His own service.  Therefore, He must bind the strong man, and forbid him to speak, and control him, and show that He has gained victory over him.  So Christ gave them an awful warning not to speak such dangerous words as these accusations were.  If they persisted, it would prove to be a fatal consequence for them, because it would be a sin against their only remedy, and consequently unpardonable.  How could they come to repentance for their sin of blaspheming Christ?  It is true that the Gospel promised that Christ had purchased pardon for the greatest sins and sinners; but how could these men set aside such strong convictions.  Their sin would eternally separate them from God.

Many of those who loathed Christ as He hung on the cross (which was blasphemy to the highest degree), found mercy, and Christ himself prayed, “Father forgive them”; but now they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, by whose power He cast out the demons, because they said that it was by an unclean spirit.  It is by this means that they would miss the gifts of the Holy Spirit, after Christ’s ascension, and there would be no more evidence given them, so they would never have forgiveness, but were to receive eternal damnation.  They were in eminent danger of everlasting punishment, from which there was no redemption.

 

-Luke-

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

Here Christ is called, “Stronger Than He”.  In Genesis, God said that He would bruise the serpent’s head, and that was Christ’s style.  The victory had to be complete; He could not leave him with any means to regain his lost power.  It is His complete triumph here that insures us of the final overthrow of his kingdom.  He makes it clear that there is no place for neutrality as far as believing in Him is concerned; those who are not attached to Christ are hostile to Him.  Anything in religion that is not connected to Christ amounts to nothing.  He said those who tried to place Christ and Satan together were against Him and will not be with him in the future.

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