This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.
Jesus and his disciples went throughout Israel proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, that Jesus is Israel’s promised King and Messiah and all must repent and believe in him. Now Matthew details Israel’s religious leaders’ denial and rejection of Jesus to be the Christ. Twice they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath (vv. 1-2, 9-14) and asserted that his power to do miracles came not from God but from Satan (v. 24). Jesus responded that they judged contrary to the Scriptures, thus being against God himself (vv. 3, 5, “have you not read,” v. 12 “it is lawful,” vv. 31-32 “blasphemy of…speaks against the Holy Spirit”) because they themselves were evil (vv. 33-37).
Matthew details Israel’s spiritually wicked and unfaithful character in verses 38–45. They rejected the truth Jesus taught yet wanted to see signs and miracles (vv. 38-42; cf. 1 Cor 1:22-25). Despite the good done through the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus, because of Israel’s unbelief and rejection of Jesus they would be worse off than they were (vv. 43-45). Only those who hear, believe, and obey Jesus will be blessed (vv. 46-50).
These passages are important for by them Matthew details and explains why Israel did not believe that Jesus was the Christ. This marks a turning point in Jesus’ ministry: he no longer preached the gospel of the kingdom to Israel but began preparing his followers for his death.
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- “Surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (v. 28) refers to the person and power of the King, Jesus. This does not mean a “spiritual form of the kingdom” was present, as “you” refers to the Pharisees who just asserted that Jesus was empowered by Satan.
- “The unpardonable sin” (vv. 31-32) was a one-time event occurring when Israel’s religious leaders attributed Jesus’ power to Satan—a wicked spirit—not the Holy Spirit. This was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus viewed, evaluated, and responded to attacks from the standpoint of the truth of Scripture. You must do the same!