Jesus knew what they intended to do, so he went away from there. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Look, my Servant whom I chose, the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure. I’ll put my Spirit upon him, and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles. He won’t argue or shout, and nobody will hear his voice in the streets. He won’t break a bent stalk, and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick, until he makes justice win. And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name. They brought to Jesus a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak. Jesus healed him so that he could both speak and see. All the crowds were amazed and said, “This man couldn’t be the Son of David, could he?” When the Pharisees heard, they said, “This man throws out demons only by the authority of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Because Jesus knew what they were thinking, he replied, “Every kingdom involved in civil war becomes a wasteland. Every city or house torn apart by divisions will collapse. If Satan throws out Satan, he is at war with himself. How then can his kingdom endure? And if I throw out demons by the authority of Beelzebul, then by whose authority do your followers throw them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if I throw out demons by the power of God’s Spirit, then God’s kingdom has already overtaken you. Can people go into a house that belongs to a strong man and steal his possessions, unless they first tie up the strong man? Then they can rob his house. Whoever isn’t with me is against me, and whoever doesn’t gather with me scatters (Matthew 12:15-30, Common English Bible).
I think Matthew is my favorite of all the Gospels. John is a bit to cryptic for my taste. Mark is in too big of a hurry. Luke and Matthew are close but I think the reason I give Matthew the edge is two things. First, I really enjoy the way Matthew tells parables. Second, and more important to the lesson today, I love the way he ties Jesus’ story back to the prophets. Luke may do some of that as well but Matthew is where I seem to read it the most.
When I read stories like today’s, Matthew does a wonderful job of pointing us back to the prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. Matthew had a pretty good idea his readers wouldn’t know Jesus as a living breathing human. Because of that, Matthew wanted to make sure those reading his words would know this is the man Matthew believed to be the Messiah.
He was right of course. Matthew had no way of knowing his book would become Holy Scripture that people like you and I would still be reading more than 2000 years later. Matthew’s book tells his story of life with Jesus. He wants us to read it and come to know Jesus as he knew Jesus. This is his story, a story of how he saw prophecy fulfilled during his lifetime in a man named Jesus Christ.
It seems to me, all of us could do far worse than to sit down and write down some of our story and how Jesus has lived and worked in our lives so that years from now, some of our descendants and perhaps others will come to know Jesus as Matthew knew Jesus and we know Jesus.
What are you doing to tell the story of your life with Jesus?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved