Turning Point
Matthew 12:22-37

Big picture: The Pharisees moved beyond debate to personal abuse and character assassination. We come now to a
crucial turning point in the relationship between the Pharisees, the nation, and Christ. (classic abuse begins)
Know the Path, Walk the Path, and when trouble comes, Trust the Path (because Jesus is for us)
22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he
could both speak and see. 23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power
from Satan (Beelzebul), the prince of demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by
feuding will fall apart. 
26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 
27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn
you for what you have said. 
28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.
29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even
stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
30  “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
31 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never
be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy
Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come. 33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is
good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 
34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart
determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person
produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 
36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say
will either acquit you or condemn you.”

1) V22 What occurred? What can we learn from this?
A miracle. A man was healed from possession, blindness, and inability to speak.
Stop-a miracle!! Jesus is for people. LESSON 1 Jesus was for this man. And Jesus is for us.
QUESTION: What has he done for you?
Let’s enjoy this!
I was challenged last week in a good way, and I want to challenge you. Here it is: KNOW GOD, DON’T JUST KNOW
ABOUT GOD. We can read about the Grand Canyon and even see pictures but it’s not until we stand on the rim and just
take it in. It’s amazing. You can feel it in your heart. We need to see God not just as words on a page, not just as facts to
know about God, about Jesus – but we need to “see” Him in our hearts.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord, Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you. I wan to see you.
To see You high and lifted up, Shining in the light of Your glory. Pour out Your pow'r and love;
As we sing holy, holy, holy – Holy, holy, holy, we want to see you. Deep in our hearts and souls.
Can you tell of a time you stopped and enjoyed God. Challenge – find the time.

“What occurred” turned into an altercation:
2) V23-24 What were the two responses? What can we learn from the responses?
-The crowd wonders / The pharisees attack with accusation.
– Crowd > This cannot be the Son of David, can it? They raised the faint possibility that Jesus might be the Messiah, but
primarily their question reflected their amazed unbelief. The Jews expected Messiah to perform miracles (v. 38), but other
things about Jesus, for example His servant characteristics, led them to conclude that He was not the promised Son of
David. LESSON 2 Be Careful! Don’t Judge based on station in life, who we hang out with, how we look, how we
QUESTION: When have you judged someone or were judged based on station in life?
– Pharisees > False Accusation
QUESTION: What was their basis? He wasn’t on of them so it can’t be from God. LESSON 3 Be Careful! Of
Judgement based on your “knowledge”
Beelzebul means Lord of the Flies. What happens near death/extreme sickness/decay – flies. Cannanites and Phoenicians
to the north worshiped Baal, supposed to heal the sick so he was mockingly called Lord of the Flies. So, they may have
been mocking Jesus, too.
QUESTION: When have you judged someone based on your knowledge and later found out you were wrong?
3) V25-26 What is Jesus’ common sense response? What can we learn from this?
Any kingdom, city, or household that experiences internal conflict will destroy itself eventually, if the strife continues.
This holds true for the domain over which Satan rules, as well. LESSON 4 Internal conflict destroys
When have you experienced conflict within a group or relationship that destroyed it?
4) V27 What is Jesus next common sense response? What can we learn from this?
Back at them, your guys do exorcisms. “LESSON 5 Be Careful! We often don’t see the log in our eye.
When have you had to “eat crow?” No life altering, but I will never wear a suit. I will never work at a bank. I wouldn’t
want to own a Christian bookstore. I will not commute over 30 minutes to work. My kids won’t . . . . (Staci)


5) V28 What big claim is Jesus making?
TURNING POINT > Jesus was claiming that He received His power from God's Spirit, which was a clear messianic
Jesus says kingdom of God has arrived, he’s here.
To have a kingdom you have to have subjects: It was this that He would have them understand: the King was there and
the little group of His disciples were His acknowledged subjects; thus, the kingdom in embryo was actually in their midst.
And Jesus is saying, I’m doing good things for people and you’re complaining?
6) V29 What common sense point does Jesus make?
Jesus encouraged the Pharisees to look at the same issue another way. Only a stronger person can bind a homeowner and
ransack his house.

QUESTION: For you to trust your life to someone, who’s the person? Who do you want to battle thru life with?
7) V30 What is this big claim that Jesus is making?
Jesus' point in this statement was that there can be no neutrality in one's relationship to Him.
LESSON 6 You can’t be neutral when it comes to Jesus. You have a decision, stay or walk away.
QUESTION: What coach said, “You can do it your way and keep losing or do it my way and win?” Eric Musselman
8) V31-33 What does Jesus say they cannot do?
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, attributing God’s work to Satan, rather than to the Spirit. Jesus, “OK, you haven’t
figured me out for sure but you know I’m doing good things, but to say something the Spirit of God is doing is a bridge
too far.”
9) V34-35 What is Jesus pointing out?
What you “produce” in your life comes from your heart.
Jesus proceeded to point out that: LESSON 7 Conduct typically reflects character.
10) V36-37 Words matter. Why?
Their externally righteous appearance did not excuse them from speaking as they did. Rather, people's words are what
God will use to judge them eventually. Elsewhere Jesus said that people will be judged by their works as well (16:27; cf. 2
Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12). The careless word is the word spoken without deliberation. One might think it insignificant,
except that it reveals character. Every word spoken reflects the heart's overflow, and God knows the heart. Therefore,
words are very important. LESSON 8 Words matter. They are important.
QUESTION: Are there any words you wish you could take back?
Lots of lessons for us.
Big picture: This was a turning point in the story
It is worth noting that in Matthew the breach between Jesus and the authorities is not definite until the Beelzebub charge.
This incident, then, marked the great turning point in the life of Christ. From this point on to the cross the nation is viewed
in the Gospels as having rejected Christ as Messiah. The unofficial rejection by the leaders would become official when
finalized at the cross. They said it, they meant it.
Jesus was bringing good news and yet he was being harassed, called horrible things, classically abused by people that
really didn’t even know him – and yet – he stayed true to His mission – to bring the Kingdom of God to earth, to establish
a band of ragged “manzer” disciples that would change the world – and ultimately, pay the price for sin so we wouldn’t
have to.
So, LESSON 9 for all those “lessons” we learned, those failures we’ve had, don’t look down in shame – look up at
the cross – and be thankful.