Thinking about Jesus’ Power

Key Verse: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
—Matthew 12:30

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 12:22-45

THE GREAT POWER possessed by Jesus was challenged by the leaders of Israel. They found fault with his healing on the sabbath, and claimed that he was using the power of Satan to heal. (Matt. 12:24) In answer to the first accusation, Jesus asked them, “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” (Matt. 12:11,12) Prior to this, Jesus had mentioned that “the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.”—vs. 8

One would expect that the great power manifested by Jesus would be associated with God’s power, and not be challenged. This was not so. The arguments put forth by Jesus to justify his actions were too difficult for the Pharisees to handle, so they plotted to destroy him. (Matt. 12:14) Jesus knew what was in their minds and withdrew from the specific area. The multitudes continued to follow him, and he continued to heal them, using God’s great power. (Matt. 12:15) It also took great power to read the thoughts and hearts of men, such as the Pharisees. This power caused him to say, “He that is not with me is against me.” (Matt. 12:30) Our Lord had begun the selection of his church from among those of natural Israel. The Pharisees were interfering with that work and were endeavoring to scatter the people.

The powerful works of Jesus should have convinced the Pharisees that he was the Messiah. These works of healing were a most impressive sign. Yet, instead of being recognized as such, the Pharisees claimed that the power of Jesus came from the prince of devils—Beelzebub (Satan)—after Jesus had cast out a devil possessing a blind and dumb man, allowing him to speak and see. Jesus knew the thoughts of his accusers, and argued very effectively that Satan casting out Satan would mean his empire was collapsing. If they could only see that this work was being accomplished by God’s Spirit, then they would become candidates for membership in God’s kingdom.—Matt. 12:22-30

Jesus showed them that they were opposing the work of the Holy Spirit, and to the extent of their knowledge they would be judged. Unless they changed their lives to be like a ‘good tree’ bringing forth ‘good fruits,’ they would be cut off. Some went to Jesus seeking a sign and to be convinced in some spectacular way. Jesus answered: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.”—Matt. 12:38,39

This ‘sign of the Prophet Jonah’ should have made a difference to those who sought a sign. But it did not. Jesus was in the heart of the earth for the same amount of time as Jonah was in the belly of the whale. But this sign was also missed by the Pharisees. They were evilminded men. They had paid the Roman soldiers who were guarding Jesus’ tomb to say that the disciples had stolen our Lord’s body. (Matt. 28:12,13) In such circumstances who can face the power given to Jesus?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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