September 21: The Collision of Kingdoms (Matt 12:22-37)
Matthew 12:22-37 (only verses 22-30 are provided below)
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (ESV)
In this passage Jesus heals a demon-possessed man who is both blind and mute. Reactions to this healing come in various forms, some amazed and some angry and even blasphemous. But all seem to miss the point that the miracle of delivering a man from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God is evidence that Jesus is the Messiah sent from God to save. Your reaction to Jesus, as evidenced in the fruit of your life, either confirms or denies the reality of your faith. What does the fruit of your life reveal about your faith?
Review and Apply
- How would you explain demon possession and the role of Satan in the world?
- How does casting out demons show the coming of God's kingdom?
- Who is Jesus referring to as the one who binds the strong man and plunders his house in v. 29?
- What does this demonstrate regarding the power of the Messiah? How does this help you in your fight against darkness?
- What fruit is being produced in your life that justifies or condemns you?
- Explain “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
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September 28, 2018September 30 - Freedom from the Law (Romans 7:1-6)