Text: Matthew 12:22-32
For joy in the Holy Spirit
For clarity of purpose in life
For new pastors beginning calls
This famous confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees hinges on the words of Matthew from earlier in the chapter, where Matthew quotes Isaiah:
Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice…
One of the early Church Fathers declared in a sermon on this text that “the whole world is presented to Jesus in this man: unable to see the truth, unable to declare the truth, caught by the power of the devil.” For the Pharisees, as students of the Law and as teachers of others, to not recognize God’s Spirit upon Jesus is a sign of their own spiritual captivity. They are unable to see rightly, unable to speak rightly, and are caught by Satan.
Jesus points out the folly of their position with his point that if Satan is at war with himself, then his kingdom—and those in his kingdom—are in grave trouble. But, if there is a champion, one strong enough to wrest from Satan his captives, then there is hope. The anonymous Church Father again: “when this man is freed, whom did the crowd extol? The Prince of lies? No, they gave glory to the Son of David. Yet they will see greater things, for it is not just David’s son, but God’s son who is in their midst.”
We who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus are wrestled from Satan’s terrible grip and brought into the peaceable kingdom of the Son. As adopted sons and daughters of God, we have been given the Spirit that we may see and speak truthfully, seek justice for those who have been denied it, and ensure that the Beloved Son is glorified in our work.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks