Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. – Matt. 12:25 NIV
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Jesus Christ must have sensed anger in the Pharisees that he had just engaged and defeated in an intellectual debate. Being a group filled with people of ego, they probably could not bear the shame of losing such debate to one who was not part of them, more so, he seemed to be gathering lots of followership, so they went out to plan on how they were going to kill him – Matt. 12:14.
Probably sensing danger, he chose to continue his missionary activities under the radar, at least until he is ready for the publicity so, although many more people came to him and he healed them, he never stopped telling them to keep their testimonies secret – Matt. 12:15-16. Whether they adhered to that instruction was a different issue, but really, it will always be a huge challenge to expect one who has just received genuine miracle to keep quiet and not announce it. At that stage, it is no longer just about the willingness or not, of the recipient to announce the miracle, but the miracle itself making as much noise as the number of people, who hitherto knew the individual before the miraculous event happened.
It was in the course of these numerous miraculous interventions that a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to him and he healed him. Whereas the people were excited, wondering if indeed this was the same Jesus whose parental background, they know, the Pharisees preferred to discredit this achievement, choosing instead to credit Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons, with the miracle – Matt. 12:22-24. That is how low they were willing to go in order to discourage the people from accepting the doctrine that Jesus Christ was presenting to them. Jesus Christ, being one not to shy away from such challenges had an appropriate response for them, which he presented in a form of query, the intention of which is captured in the three points listed below;
- It is impossible for a house to fight against itself and still remain standing – Matt. 12:25-26. By this, he implied that the kingdom of Satan would have long crashed if indeed he was using the power of Satan to fight Satan. Even Satan will not allow that.
- It was definitely not their first experience of a miracle occurrence and if they ascribed the miracles he performed to Beelzebub, they could as well admit that all the earlier experiences of miracles that they have had, are also from him – Matt. 12:27.
- That the Devil is powerful is not arguable, so how will it ever be possible to free people held under the bondage of such a powerful being, if he is not first held down himself, a task that will require the one who has such intentions to possess greater power than he has – Matt. 12:29.
All the above was aimed at convincing them that he had been doing amongst them should be regarded as the evidence of the kingdom of God in their midst.
As much as the Christian today may not have any doubt about Jesus Christ being the son of God or that his miracles are real and rooted in Jehovah, there is still so much for the Christian to learn, from the assertions of Jesus Christ, in his attempt at defending his miracles and these are as follows.
Firstly is the fact that there will always be so much power in unity. Just as Satan cannot be defeated, if there is an internal division, likewise, Christians must realise that they need to remain united if they plan to defeat the devil and his agents. With the level of division amongst Christians today, there is no way, the over-riding influence of the Devil on the Church should not be expected. This will continue to be the case, and the erroneous impression being created by this development, that the Devil is more powerful than Christians, will persist. This is only true because of the tool of division that he uses to overcome Christians. If indeed Christians desire to be over-comers, the starting point will be to resolve all areas of divisions and work more on unity. It is the day that this is objective is attained, that victory over the Devil and his agents, by Christians, will be achieved.
Secondly, Christians must begin to openly acknowledge those miraculous actions of God, which they have either come to take for granted or have chosen to refuse to acknowledge Jehovah for – Prov. 3:5-6. The simple act of sleeping and waking up is a daily miracle that man cannot deny receiving from Jehovah. Man is not only unable to determine the exact time when sleep commences, but also loses every form of consciousness during sleep only to wake up, without any clear reason for waking up. It will be foolhardy for anyone to think that, it is the set alarm clock that aided the waking up, when same alarm clock is not able to play the same role for a dead person. Therefore, the Christian who intends to experience more miraculous interventions in his/her life must acknowledge Jehovah in those little things, else such will be considered an ingrate and not qualified to receive new miracles – Lk. 16:10.
Thirdly, the Christian that intends to overcome the Devil and thereby enjoy stress free life, must possess a spiritual ability that supercedes that of the Devil. The only such power resides with the Almighty God and will only be made available to the Christian through the possession of the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:5-8. It is simply impossible to defeat the Devil and is cohorts, without such supernatural abilities which is always available to the true Christian.
In summary, true Christians should always be prepared to hear uncomplimentary comments by people about their achievements, especially those which seems ordinarily unattainable by men, and so not get weighed down by such comments when they eventually made. Uncomplimentary comments may be made about that financial success or the unexpected evidence of breakthrough that seems to be beyond that natural ability of the individual in reference. What is most important is the continuous occurrence of all those activities classed as miraculous in the life of the Christian, as dwelling too much on these negative comments can become a stumbling block to further progress, just as progress may not be possible if Christians do not remain united, and always acknowledging and expressing gratitude for all that they are getting. Above all, Christians need to be aware that they need the spiritual ability that is only available through the Holy Spirit, to be able to overcome the Devil and his agents. Work with the above guidelines and you will be guaranteed positive testimonies in all your situations. May that be your portion in Jesus name. Amen.