Withholding Judgment

When Jesus healed a demonized blind and mute man, the people wondered if he was the son of David, that is the Messiah, but the Pharisees shut them down saying that he cast out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the chief of demons, that is by Satan. Jesus easily demonstrated the error of their argument. First, if Satan were casting out Satan, then he was destroying his own kingdom. Second, if Jesus cast out demons by Satan, then by what power did the Pharisees also cast out demons? Jesus, implied that the Pharisees themselves accessed the same power he did in order to cast out demons. Then Jesus revealed how it was done. The strong man, Satan, had to be bound first, before his house could be plundered. Jesus implied that Satan had already been bound, so that Jesus and others could cast out demons. Finally Jesus explained the consequences of the Pharisees’ conclusions, that they were committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. They thought they were only criticizing/condemning Jesus, but in fact they were attributing the activity of the Holy Spirit manifested through Jesus to Satan himself. Jesus clarified that this sin would not be forgiven, while all sin against Jesus himself could be forgiven. The question of this is why?

We know from Scripture, that no one can come to Jesus without the drawing of the Holy Spirit, but if that very drawing and testimony is viewed to be of Satan, then it is impossible for that person to repent, because of the magnitude of their deception. In other words, if a person sees the light, but concludes that it is actually darkness and therefore rejects the light he remains in true darkness. By so doing, that person prevents himself from actually living in the light. This is what the Pharisees were doing, by their rejection of the light of the Holy Spirit, they were choosing to remain in darkness, hence their sin would not be forgiven.

What does this mean for us? There may be times when we fail to comprehend what the Spirit of God is doing. Before placing judgment on that activity or what someone may be doing, we should seek to gain further understanding. This might mean further study of Scripture and will surely mean seeking wisdom in prayer to understand or at least know how to respond to what is taking place, rather than declaring something demonic or heretical just because it doesn’t fit with our theological paradigm. Throughout church history much damage has been done to the body of Christ, because one group of Christians has condemned the practice or beliefs of others, simply because they didn’t agree or didn’t understand what the Spirit of God was doing.

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