“On Your Mark”
Whose Power? (Chapter 3 Verses 20-30)
The account in Matthew informs us that Jesus cast a demon out of a man (Matthew 12.22-29), thus inspiring this charge of being in league with the devil being brought against Jesus. This is back in Capernaum, the home base, keep this in mind for future reference. I mean with regards the amount witnessed by these people in this town. Again the crowd is amazing (v20). The family of the Lord, as yet in unbelief (John 7.5), arrive to physically remove him, they consider him to be unbalanced. There surely is some encouragement here for those of us who face unbelief our home situations. The Lord knows (Psalm 27.10; Isaiah 49 15). There is so much he understands, he sympathizes with, simply because he became a man (John 1.14). And because he was so tested, just as we are (Hebrews 2.18). Every emotion that has ever pulsed through our beings, has also pulsed through his, yet without the sin factor (Hebrews 4.15).
It is enough that his family think him disturbed, but now the religious establishment attribute a demonic influence to him (V22). Their unbelief breaks out with an awesome reality. This demonstration of supernatural power, did it frighten the people? It happens. But instead of doing what they should do, they harden themselves and either deny its existence, or rend the person ministering. In this case Jesus, who is seeking to bring deliverance to those in need (Matthew 8.28-34). The teachers of law here discern the attitude of the people, and take the latter course. The suggestion is that Jesus is in league with Beelzebub a phrase supposedly picked up and used by the Jews, a vile term for Satan. It is not the first time the thought entered their heads (Matthew 9.34). There is surely something of the perversity, the twisted-ness of fallen human nature revealed here (Jeremiah 17.9). When broken people are pieced back together, when lives like cesspools have been cleaned and made useful again, when the love of God in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, is clearly demonstrated before men (Acts 10.38)? And with their sick and polluted minds, stubbornly refuse to give place to God, and credit this to the devil. That surely, manifestly, is sin indeed. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil (1John 3.8), not to do it. The devil’s work? Dirty, detestable, diabolical, the opposite to what you see here. How did Jesus destroy it? In his own body on the Cross (1Peter 2.24), he spoiled, trounced Satan (Colossians 2.13-15). That is our Jesus, who loved us so much (Galatians 2.20). Can you give him too much?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)