The Pharisees say that the *miracles of Jesus come from Satan

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 6 - Who is Jesus? - Part 3

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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Matthew 12:22-37

Jesus cures a man whom *demons controlled

We can read about another event that happened about this time. It shows us what some people thought about Jesus. Men brought a man to Jesus. The man was blind and could not speak. *Demons controlled him. Jesus immediately cured him. Then he could both talk and see. This *miracle astonished the crowds. However, some *Pharisees said, ‘No! This man sends *demons away by the power of Beelzebub [the devil], who is the prince of *demons’. (Matthew 12:24)

To accuse Jesus like this is terrible. Jesus loved and cared for everyone so much. He was very wise. He blessed people. His *miracles helped people.

People who could make such statements were foolish or evil. We could say that they were blind in their *spirits. They were not able to look at Jesus and to understand him. (There are still people like that today.) Jesus was not angry with them – as we might be. He answered them wisely.

Suppose that this was true! Suppose that Jesus cured people with the help of Satan [the devil]. Or, with the help of *demons. Then Satan would be fighting against himself. Satan would be using his power against himself. Satan would defeat himself. This could not happen.

The *Pharisees themselves tried to cure people who were in the control of *demons. So, Jesus asked this question as a reply to these *Pharisees:

·  If Jesus did this with the help of *demons, how did the *Pharisees do it?

*The sin that God will not forgive

Jesus also said some other very strong words to them.

Matthew 12:31, 32 And so I tell you this. God can forgive men for every *sin except one. He will not forgive men who speak against the *Holy Spirit. God will forgive anyone who speaks a word against the *Son of Man [Jesus]. God will never forgive anyone who speaks against the *Holy Spirit, now or ever.

People sin when they do not do what God wants. When Jesus died for our *sins, it was for all kinds of *sin. We can think about king David as an example. He took another man’s wife and he murdered the man (1 Samuel 12). God forgave him.

These *Pharisees said that the work of Jesus by the *Holy Spirit was really the devil's work. This is the sin that God can never forgive. Jesus' statement should have made these *Pharisees think! Nobody should say that the work of God is *Satan’s work. God will forgive anyone who is really sorry. But to say that God’s work is *Satan’s work is a different kind of *sin. It means that a person has decided to oppose God. That person has chosen to be very wicked. But Jesus continued:

Matthew 12:33 'A good tree has good fruit. A bad tree has bad fruit. We know a tree by its fruit.'

If Jesus had been a servant of *Satan, what Jesus did could not be good. It is impossible for a servant of *Satan to do good things.

How do we know whether someone is good or bad?

How do we know whether someone is good or bad? We look at what that person does. We see how that person behaves. A good person speaks good words and does good things. An evil person speaks bad words and does evil things. Everybody had seen how Jesus behaved. They had heard his words. Now we can understand what kind of people these *Pharisees really were.

Evil deeds begin in a person's heart

Jesus said words like these on another occasion. The *Pharisees declared that Jesus’ *disciples had not obeyed a law. The *disciples did not wash their hands before they ate food. This was not really a part of the Jewish law. It was a tradition of the *Pharisees. Jesus said this:

·  Food, which goes into the mouth, does not spoil a man.

·  But the things that come out of a man's mouth can spoil that man.

Jesus meant that evil words and ideas make a person bad. He said this:

Matthew 15:18-20 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. These are the things that make someone ‘unclean’. [By unclean Jesus meant evil, or bad.] All these things begin in a person's heart: [We might use the word 'mind' instead of 'heart' today]

·  Evil thoughts

·  Murder

·  Sex with another man's wife

·  Any sex when the couple do not obey God's rules

·  Theft [that is, when a person steals something]

·  Lies

·  Untrue words about other people

This is the behaviour that makes someone ‘unclean’ [evil or bad]. If you do not wash your hands before a meal, that does not make you ‘unclean’ [evil or bad].

In the discussion, these *Pharisees had really shown their true character. Jesus knew very well what man is like. He knew that we all need a new heart with new desires and new behaviour. This is what he came to give us. He gives it to everyone who believes in him. He gives it to everyone who trusts him.

 

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