Sunday, June 25, 2023

A Study of Matthew Chapter 12:25-37

by Stan Feldsine (

Matthew 12:25-32 - Jesus Response to Blasphemy

Responding to the accusations of the Pharisees, Jesus "new their thoughts". Jesus did not use His divinity to read their minds, rather, He was dependent upon the Holy Spirit for discernment. Jesus responded to their accusations by explaining that destruction follows division. It was nonsense to claim that Jesus was engaged in dividing His Kingdom by implying that Satan was driving out Satan.

Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit, and to accuse Jesus of doing the work of Satan was to accuse the Holy Spirit of functioning by Satanic authority, which was blasphemous. Walvoord sheds light on this: "Such a sin is not unpardonable in itself, but rather because it rejects the person and work of the Holy Spirit, without whom repentance and restoration are impossible ... it is not the thought that one seeking pardon will not find it, but rather that one who rejects the Holy Spirit will not seek pardon."

Jesus was indeed functioning in the power of the Holy Spirit, the perfect example of the spirit filled believer. And if He was indeed functioning in the Holy Spirit's power, then indeed the Kingdom was here, not some divided kingdom of Satan. Jesus was more powerful than the demons, and was tying up the strong man and stealing his stuff.

In vs. 31-32, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees who had rejected Him, the point being that the one who is truly doing the works Jesus is manifesting is the Holy Spirit. Thus blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a worse sin than blasphemy against Jesus. As Walvoord pointed out earlier, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit comes from a place of heart that prevents the Holy Spirit's work in a person's heart, and that in itself prevents salvation, and is unforgivable because there is no forgiveness unless one believes.

Matthew 12:33-37 - Tree Known by it's Fruit

Jesus continues addressing the Pharisees with an explanation that one cannot separate the what comes out of the heart from the heart. If Jesus's miracles are good, then He is good. If Jesus was in cahoots with Satan, then what would come out of His heart would have been evil, and that was certainly not the case.

Jesus referring to the Pharisees as a "brood of Vipers" is calling them "offspring of snakes", a scathing reference to the fact that they were offspring of the serpent, Satan. He then gives the general principle that good things come out of a good heart (who we are as a person), and bad things from the evil heart. The Pharisees were evil.

Jesus then makes a reference to the "Day of Judgment", or the Bema Judgment. At that judgment, one of the criteria we will be judged for is what comes out of our mouths. "Empty words" means idle words or words without substance. If we are guilty of this, we will have forfeited rewards we otherwise would have had, and we experience loss. (But not loss of salvation.) In the case of unbelievers including such as the Pharisees, their lot will be banishment to Sheol where they will await the final judgment at the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the Messianic Kingdom. In this case, the Pharisees were unbelievers, so they were not saved. They had used words without substance in accusing Jesus of working under the power of Satan. Since this judgment concerns the wicked unbeliever, they are dealt varying degrees of punishment in Hell.

Hendrickson states - "The judgment passed upon the individual in the final day is going to be "by," in the sense of "inconformity with," "in accordance with," "in harmony with, " his words, considered as mirrors of the heart".

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