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A Moment With The Bible

Matthew 12:22-30 #1

At this point in Matthew’s account, the unbelief of the Pharisees is being increasingly challenged. Not only is Jesus doing notable miracles in their presence, the people are beginning to recognize Him as the Messiah (“Can this be the son of David?”). Therefore, the Pharisees must find some way to discredit Him if they are going to keep their power and influence with the people. Here is where their defense gets interesting. Instead of denying that Jesus performed a miracle in healing the demon-possessed man, they deny that the source of His power is from God. But in doing so, they have admitted that Jesus is actually performing miracles and casting out demons. This provides irrefutable evidence that the miracles of Jesus were not faked. If the Pharisees could have denied the miracle they would have. But since they cannot deny it, they deny the source is of God.

This leaves Jesus with the easy task of proving that the power to cast out demons could not come from Satan. Satan would not cast out His own demons without destroying his own kingdom, since a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Jesus then challenges the Pharisees concerning their own disciples who also practiced exorcism. Josephus tells us of Jewish exorcists who practiced elaborate incantations after hanging a root from the nose of the demoniac. The root itself had to be gathered in a special way or else it would be sure death to the person who harvested it. The contrast between their exorcisms and the miracles of Jesus where the demons were cast out with just a word, would have been notable. Therefore, Jesus’ challenge is that if He was using the power of the devil, then what power were the Pharisees using when they used the appearance of witchcraft to cast out a demon?

Have you ever questioned whether or not Jesus actually performed miracles? It is a legitimate question and one that determines whether Jesus is really the Son of God. The answer is in this text. The enemies of Jesus, who were eyewitnesses, could not deny His power. Their testimony offers solid proof to the authenticity of Jesus.

Berry Kercheville