Some Devil Trick
Jesus, knowing they were out to get him, moved on. A lot of people followed him, and he healed them all. He also cautioned them to keep it quiet, following guidelines set down by Isaiah: "Look well at my handpicked servant; I love him so much, take such delight in him. I've placed my Spirit on him; he'll decree justice to the nations. But he won't yell, won't raise his voice; there'll be no commotion in the streets. He won't walk over anyone's feelings, won't push you into a corner. Before you know it, his justice will triumph; the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers." Next a poor demonafflicted wretch, both blind and deaf, was set down before him. Jesus healed him, gave him his sight and hearing. The people who saw it were impressed-"This has to be the Son of David!" But the Pharisees, when they heard the report, were cynical. "Black magic," they said. "Some devil trick he's pulled from his sleeve." Jesus confronted their slander. "A judge who gives opposite verdicts on the same person cancels himself out; a family that's in a constant squabble disintegrates; if Satan banishes Satan, is there any Satan left? If you're slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil kicking out devils, doesn't the same mud stick to your exorcists? But if it's by God's power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God's kingdom is here for sure. How in the world do you think it's possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out. This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse. There's nothing done or said that can't be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God's Spirit. you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you're sawing off the branch on which you're sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives." MATTHEW 12:15-32
People are always ready with an explanation of reality that eliminates God from their lives-anything to avoid dealing with the love of Christ. Our world is full of debunking, cynical explanations that flatten people and events into a sidewalk sameness.
Why is Jesus so vehement in his response?
Almighty God, I don't want to be in that crowd of people who are standing around on the sidelines criticizing and quibbling; I want to be with those disciples who are listening, and believing, and following. Amen.