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Matthew 12:14-37

Talks for Growing Christians

The Pharisees Attribute the Lord’s Miracles to the Power of Satan

Matthew 12:14-37

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Lesson Number 30

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord fulfilled the Gracious Servant prophecy of Isaiah.
  2. The Pharisees committed the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, God has a tape recorder.

Questions

  1. Why did Jesus warn His followers in Matthew 12:16 not to make Him known?
  2. What was the teaching of the Gracious Servant prophecy of Isaiah 42, quoted in today’s passage?
  3. How is the Trinity seen in this prophecy from Isaiah?
  4. Review the four arguments the Lord gave to refute the Pharisees’ accusation that His power was from a demonic source.
  5. What is the “unpardonable sin”?

Answers

  1. Because He did not come to be a popular revolutionary hero who would overthrow Rome. This is what the multitudes wanted Him to be, but He had a greater plan.
  2. This prophecy foretold that the Messiah would not be an outspoken, political revolutionary (v. 19); rather He would deal gently and graciously with individuals.
  3. In Matthew 12:18, the Father is speaking to His Servant, the Son, promising to send His Spirit.
  4. 1) If the Lord’s power was demonic, Satan would be defeating himself. 2) The Pharisees did not attribute the power of other Jewish exorcists to Satan. 3) He was announcing the kingdom of God, therefore binding the power of Satan. 4) The Pharisees admitted casting out demons was good, and good fruit must come from a good tree.
  5. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In that day, the Pharisees blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributes the Lord’s works to Satan. Today, an unbeliever can blaspheme the Spirit by resisting His work in their life.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Aren’t you glad the Lord Jesus came to deal gently and graciously with indivduals? Those who are brokenhearted, oppressed, trampled on, or dispossessed can find encouragement and strength in Him and in His justice. Have you ever felt like a smoldering wick, about to burn out? The Lord knows how to gently fan your small spark of faith back into flame. Discuss a time when the Lord has been gracious and gentle to you.
  2. Review the teaching on the “unpardonable sin,” which is often misunderstood. Can the “unpardonable sin” be committed today? Yes and no. No, because the Lord is no longer on this earth doing miracles to attest to His deity. Yes, in the sense that an unbeliever can resist the work of the Holy Spirit today. The Spirit’s work in an unbeliever is to convict them of sin and convince them that Christ is the only way of salvation. If unbelievers continue to resist this work of the Holy Spirit, they will die in that sin – this sin is unpardonable, there is no second chance.

Challenge

  1. “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36 Although, this verse was spoken to the unbelieving Pharisees, it certainly has application for the believer today. All Christians will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, where our lives will be reviewed, and we will be rewarded for what we have done with our lives. This will include what we have spoken with our lips. Will your words be worthy of reward?

Key Verses

  • “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34
  • “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

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