Speaker: Jerry Cisar
I have a confession: I don’t like texts like Matthew 12:22-37 on the Tuesday before preaching it. Apparently I am not alone in this sentiment, as preaching lectionaries (the schedule of preaching texts for churches that plan the text for all their congregations weekly) leave Matthew 12 out altogether. Would anyone notice if I just skipped right past it?
My “dislike” is not because it is difficult; I like difficult. Nor is it due to a lack of material on this text; there is an abundance of material, but very little that even attempts to get at its purpose. I think that that is because there are so many “tree issues” in the text. You know, “You can’t see the forest for the trees!” Issues that cause us to focus on the wrong things.
- There’s blasphemy of the HS, which it says can never, ever be forgiven. Then it seems to move on without an explanation of what it is and how we know if we have committed it.
- There’s tantalizing lines about kingdoms falling and binding the strongman which gets a lot of radio play.
- Anytime demon-possession is brought up, we have to ask (and answer) whether a Christian can be demon possessed!
Why is this text here in Matthew’s Gospel? What is its purpose for us? (I am assuming it is not here to raise all sorts of strange questions for young believers.) How does it fit with what comes before it? What does it have to do with being a follower of Jesus?
Join us in worship as we explore what Matthew 12:22-37 is calling us to, not just what one thing we need to make sure we don’t do.