A Divided House Cannot Stand

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw . 23 All the crowds were amazed , and were saying , "This man cannot be the Son of David , can he?" 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said , "This man casts out demons only e e by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons ." 25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste ; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand . 26 "If Satan casts out Satan , he is divided against himself ; how then will his kingdom stand ? 27 "If I by Beelzebul cast out demons , by whom do your sons cast them out? For this e reason e they will be your judges . 28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God , then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property , unless e he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house . 30 " He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters . 31 " Therefore e I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people , but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven . 32 " Whoever e speaks a word against the Son of Man , it shall be forgiven him; but whoever e speaks against the Holy Spirit , it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come . 33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good , or make the tree bad and its fruit bad ; for the tree is known by its fruit . 34 " You brood of vipers , how can you, being evil , speak what is good ? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart . 35 " The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good ; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil . 36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak , they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment . 37 "For by your words you will be justified , and by your words you will be condemned ."

An Evil Generation Seeks a Sign

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher , we want to see a sign from You." 39 But He answered and said to them, " An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign ; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet ; 40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER , so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth . 41 " The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment , and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah ; and behold , something greater than Jonah is here . 42 " The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon ; and behold , something greater than Solomon is here .

The Return of the Unclean Spirit

43 " Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man , it passes through waterless places seeking rest , and does not find it. 44 "Then it says , 'I will return to my house from which I came '; and when it comes , it finds it unoccupied , swept , and put in order . 45 "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself , and they go in and live there ; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first . That is the way it will also be with this evil generation ."

Jesus' Mother and Brethren

46 While He was still speaking to the crowds , behold , His mother and brothers were standing outside , seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, "Behold , Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." 48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said , "Who is My mother and who are My brothers ?" 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples , He said , "Behold My mother and My brothers ! 50 "For whoever e does the will of My Father who is in heaven , he is My brother and sister and mother ."

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Matthew 12:22-50

Commentary on Matthew 12:22-30

(Read Matthew 12:22-30)

A soul under Satan's power, and led captive by him, is blind in the things of God, and dumb at the throne of grace; sees nothing, and says nothing to the purpose. Satan blinds the eyes by unbelief, and seals up the lips from prayer. The more people magnified Christ, the more desirous the Pharisees were to vilify him. It was evident that if Satan aided Jesus in casting out devils, the kingdom of hell was divided against itself; how then could it stand! And if they said that Jesus cast out devils by the prince of the devils, they could not prove that their children cast them out by any other power. There are two great interests in the world; and when unclean spirits are cast out by the Holy Spirit, in the conversion of sinners to a life of faith and obedience, the kingdom of God is come unto us. All who do not aid or rejoice in such a change are against Christ.

Commentary on Matthew 12:31-32

(Read Matthew 12:31-32)

Here is a gracious assurance of the pardon of all sin upon gospel terms. Christ herein has set an example to the sons of men, to be ready to forgive words spoken against them. But humble and conscientious believers, at times are tempted to think they have committed the unpardonable sin, while those who have come the nearest to it, seldom have any fear about it. We may be sure that those who indeed repent and believe the gospel, have not committed this sin, or any other of the same kind; for repentance and faith are the special gifts of God, which he would not bestow on any man, if he were determined never to pardon him; and those who fear they have committed this sin, give a good sign that they have not. The trembling, contrite sinner, has the witness in himself that this is not his case.

Commentary on Matthew 12:33-37

(Read Matthew 12:33-37)

Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication. An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonour God, and hurt others. Let us keep constant watch over ourselves, that we may speak words agreeable to the Christian character.

Commentary on Matthew 12:38-45

(Read Matthew 12:38-45)

Though Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet those who ask amiss, ask and have not. Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again. The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting; the queen of Sheba, for not believing in Christ. And we have no such cares to hinder us, we come not to Christ upon such uncertainties. This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ.

Commentary on Matthew 12:46-50

(Read Matthew 12:46-50)

Christ's preaching was plain, easy, and familiar, and suited to his hearers. His mother and brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him, when they should have been standing within, desiring to hear him. Frequently, those who are nearest to the means of knowledge and grace are most negligent. We are apt to neglect that which we think we may have any day, forgetting that to-morrow is not ours. We often meet with hinderances in our work from friends about us, and are taken off by care for the things of this life, from the concerns of our souls. Christ was so intent on his work, that no natural or other duty took him from it. Not that, under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents, or unkind to relations; but the lesser duty must stand by, while the greater is done. Let us cease from men, and cleave to Christ; let us look upon every Christian, in whatever condition of life, as the brother, sister, or mother of the Lord of glory; let us love, respect, and be kind to them, for his sake, and after his example.