Life Means Following The Spirit

Some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind & couldn’t talk because of an evil spirit (84). Jesus expelled the evil spirit, so that the man was able to see & talk!

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The crowds were all amazed at what Jesus had done. “Could he be the Messiah?” they asked.

When the Pharisees heard this, they began repeating their earlier slander: “Jesus expels evil spirits from people only because Satan lets him.”

In reply, Jesus repeated his earlier assertion that he was expelling evil spirits from people only because God let him.  “If a country divides itself into opposing forces which fight each other, then that country will fall apart. If a family divides itself into opposing forces which fight each other, that family will fall apart. It is the same with Satan; if his forces are divided & fight each other, his power will not last.

“It is God’s Spirit, who gives me the power to expel evil spirits, which proves that God’s kingdom is already here. In order for anyone to expel evil spirits which have been sent from Satan, it is first necessary to overcome Satan.”

Suddenly Jesus turned the tables on the Pharisees, saying: “Anyone who is not for me is really against me; anyone who doesn’t help me gather people into God’s kingdom is really keeping people out of God’s kingdom. People can be forgiven all the evil things they may do or say. But whoever refuses to be led by the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven & will be condemned by God!”

Jesus then explained to the crowds an essential way to tell if people are being led by the Holy Spirit.  “To have good fruit you must have a healthy tree; if you have a sick tree, you will have bad fruit. A tree is known by the kind of fruit it bears.

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“With people it works the same way; our mouths speak what our hearts are full of.  A good person speaks good things out of the treasure of good things in his heart.  A bad person speaks bad things out of the treasure of bad things in his heart.

“On the day of judgment, everyone will have to give account for every useless word he has ever spoken!  Your own words will be used to judge you — either innocent or guilty.”

 

(84) Matthew 12:22-37