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Who Do You Say Jesus Is


Matthew 12:22-29

I think most of us have seen the TV game show Jeopardy.

As I thought about that I found myself thinking that when it comes down to eternal life…when it comes down to being victorious…when it comes down to obtaining the prize of heaven…it all comes down to one question…”Who do you say Jesus is?”

Here in this passage that was read the Pharisees are faced with this question…and the answer they give is rather interesting.

So, let’s look at the passage…in verse 22 a man who was possessed by a demon and who was blind and dumb is brought to Jesus…and Jesus heals him.

Well, look at their answer in verse 24: But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

They say, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul” or in other words, “He is in partnership with the devil.”

25 And knowing their thoughts He said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. 26 “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? 27 “And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. 28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.  30 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

The first thing I want you to notice is what Jesus thinks of Satan.

In this passage Jesus says that Satan is a real, malevolent being that is as intent on destroying you as Jesus is on saving you.

There is something else implied here in what Jesus says.

Let’s get back to the major point of the lesson.

Jesus says two things here: If Satan doesn’t wage war against himself…if Satan doesn’t cast out demons…

And, not only that, if Satan is the strong man…but no one enters the strong man’s house and plunders his property unless He first binds the strong man…then Jesus is stronger than Satan.

And look at verse 30: “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Now, look at what Jesus says in verse 31:

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come.

Now, the question is not the existence of an unforgiveable sin…Jesus says here that there is one.

And we have all heard lessons on it.

I think the key for understanding what Jesus is talking about when He refers to an “unforgivable sin” is found in verse 28.

Now, when Jesus came and proclaimed to be the Messiah or the Son of God a lot of people misunderstood Him…and some simply denied Him and rejected Him.

But when the Holy Spirit confirmed who Jesus was…when the Holy Spirit through the miracles testified that Jesus was the Son of God…when the Holy Spirit set Jesus apart from all the others who claimed to be the Messiah or a Rabbi…

Let me show you something.

20 Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

You were supposed to learn something and believe something when you watched Jesus drive out demons.

And the eternal sin is fundamentally this: it is the “willful and deliberate rejection of the Holy Spirits witness concerning the divinity of Jesus.”

Can a person do that today?

This text is not about God’s refusal to forgive sin.

This text is about men’s refusal to accept Jesus once they have been exposed by the Spirit of God to the truth of who He is.

There are only two possibilities…eternal life and eternal condemnation.

And some people will say, “I don’t believe there is an eternal sin and I don’t believe there is an eternal judgment.”

The question of “who Jesus is” is not one about which men can remain neutral.

Let me tell you a story. Just a few years ago, Dr. Leo Winters, one of the most respected surgeons in the mid-west, woke up to a phone call at 1:00 in the morning, at his home in Chicago. He picked up the phone and they said, “Dr. Winters, there has been an accident and a little boy has been seriously hurt. We need you to come do surgery.” He said, “Can’t someone else do it?” And they replied, “No, Dr. Winters, you are the only one skilled enough in this region to save his life.”

So, Dr. Winters threw on some clothes, and he got in his car and drives through a tough part of town on the south side of Chicago because it is the quickest way to get to the hospital. And Dr. Winters didn’t have his doors locked when he came to a stop at a red light, and a man rushed up in a flannel shirt and an old grey hat, and he threw the door open, and grabbed Dr. Winters and threw him in the street and said, “I need your car”, and before Dr. Winters could explain where he was going, the man took off and left Dr. Winters behind.

It took Dr. Winters 45 minutes to find a phone and call a taxi and get to the hospital. When he arrived a nurse met him and said, “Dr. Winters, the boy just died. His father is in the chapel…and he is upset…He doesn’t understand why you didn’t get here sooner. Could you go and talk to him.

Dr. Winters goes down the hall…and goes in the chapel…and there in the front, kneeling and sobbing was the man in the old gray hat and the flannel shirt. The man  who had pushed away the one who could save.

What do you say about Jesus?