Thursday, September 6, 2012

Matthew 9:32-34 Evil Motives Can Blind Your Eyes

When someone who claims to be a Christian is shown what God’s word says and they reject it (because they don’t want to obey it), you can pretty well bet (a) they’re not a Christian or (b) they are rebelling against God and will be punished (Hebrew 12:6).  Oh, you’ll see them do all sorts of verbal gymnastics (i.e. Galatians 6:1 isn’t a command) but when they can’t prove through what’s said in the text on the page, they’ll resort to name calling.  In our text today, we see the same sorts of things happening—the Pharisees see evidence of who Jesus is but because of the evil motivation of their hearts, they reject the truth.

First of all, notice with me that again that people brought someone who needed to be healed to Jesus (Matthew 9:32).  I think we can conclude from the times we’ve read in this gospel of Matthew where people brought sick folks to Jesus to be healed that word had spread about the miracles He performed.  This didn’t spread as fast as Twitter or a viral YouTube video, but none the less, people knew that if they or someone needed to be healed, Jesus could do it.  In fact, he’d made lame people walk, blind people see, raised the dead all in the span of this chapter.  He didn’t seek to draw attention but the miracles were so spectacular that people took notice.  I guess that’s part of human nature.
So, when these people brought a “demon possessed man who was mute” to Jesus, Jesus cast out the demon.  Healings were rare.  I think the only recorded instance of an exorcism outside of the New Testament was when David played to soothe Saul (I Samuel 6:13).  So, what Jesus did was extraordinary not only for the time that the Pharisees and the people lived; it was extraordinary for any time and place.  Now, knowing this, the people rightly concluded “Never was anything like this seen in Israel”.  I don’t mean to suggest that all these people had saving faith, although some of them might, but certainly some of them realized that Jesus was the Messiah (Isaiah 35:5-6).  The implication of their statement is “We know the prophets came from God and were empowered by God.  This Man is doing greater things than they did.  He must be sent from God too”.
Now, the Pharisees who knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards, knew what the crowds knew and saw what the crowds saw.  Their conclusion—“But the Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons by the prince of demons.’”   Friends, they had all the truth they needed to conclude who Jesus was and because of their foolish pride they ignored the truth and decided He was from Satan.  It is a very, very dangerous thing to reject the truth of Christ—that He was the substitute, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, and that it is only by faith in Him and repentance from sin that anyone can be saved.  If you reject that, as the Pharisees did, you reject it to your eternal doom.
Look at the evidence, friend.  If you haven’t trusted Christ, do so today.

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