King's Business - 1915-02



their plottings were known to Him and He withdrew. The time came when He set His face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem though He knew death awaited Him there, hut the time for that had not yet arrived. The multitudes were still held by Him in spite' of Pharasaic ;opposition. And they were well paid for their loyalty to Him, “He healed them all.” It pays to follow Christ in spite of all opposition. But though the multitudes clung to Him, Jesus avoided all publicity (v. 16). In this He fulfilled prophecy (Isa. 42:1-3). It is wonderful what a complete picture we have of our Lord Jesus in prophecy when one gathers together all the passages about Him in the Old. Testament. It sounds more like his­ tory than prediction. The picture here pre­ sented by Isaiah is a lovely one. God Him­ self, when He spoke with audible voice quoted part of it (cf. v. 18 with ch. 3:17). The picture presents Him as “Beloved,” “Chosen,” Spirit-filled, full of wisdom, gen­ tle and retiring, victorious, and the Gentiles trusting in His name, and all this hundreds of years before Jesus of Nazareth was born. Sunday, February 14. Matthew 12:22-29. Here we see on the one hand the awful power of demons and on the other the gracious power of our Saviour, setting men entirely free from the power of the Evil One (v. 22). Satan shuts the eyes and mouth of many a man today, but Jesus has power to open the eyes and to enable the dumb to speak. The multitudes at once saw in Jesus’ power to open eyes and lips the evidence that He was the Messiah (v. 23) for the Old Testament prophets had fore­ told that the Messiah would do just these things (Isa. 29:18; 32:3, 4). But the Phar­ isees in their stubborn unwillingness to yield to the truth had another explanation, viz. it was Beelzebub, the prince of demons casting out demons. The Scribes and Phar­ isees had come down from Jerusalem to discover something to find fault with ana to accuse Him about (cf. Mark 3:2, 6; 7:1; Luke 5:17, 21; Matt. 21:15, 16). They did

not accept the natural and true explanation that lay right before their eyes because their own hearts were wicked and they were unwilling to give the inheritance to the real heir (John 3:19, 20; 11:47, 38; Mark 12:7). This was not the only in­ stance in which this accusation was brought against our Lord (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20; 8:48, 52; 10:20), If such charges' were brought against Him, His true disciples must not expect to escape (Matt. 10:25). These charges broke the heart of our loving Lord (Ps. 29:20). And it was for our sakes that He “endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself’’ (Isa. 53:3, 4). He did not meet these outrageous charges with anger and invective but lovingly sought to open the eyes of those who brought them that they might not be lost forever. The Pharisees had not made these charges directly to Him, but He had read their thoughts (v. 25; Luke 11:17) and by “knowing their thoughts”, had proved Him­ self Divine. He at once exposed the utter folly of their charge. As it was not by Satan’s power that He cast out demons, He showed them that it must be “by the Spirit of God” (v. 28 cf. Luke 11:20). He, who could thus put forth “the finger of God” and bring Satan’s power to naught must Himself be Divine. Satan is a strong man (Mark 3:27; Luke 11:21, 22) but Jesus is stronger. He has power to bind the strong man and take his slave out of his hands (v. 29). The one who is in Satan’s power is a slave, bound and guarded by the strong mart (cf. Luke 11:21). If one is in the mighty power of Satan, there is only One to whom he can look for deliverance, but He can and He will give it. Monday, February 15. Matthew 12:30-37. There are but two classes of persons in the world, those who are with Christ, openly, whole-heartedly, and those who are against Him (v. 30). There is no middle ground. Are you thus with Christ, or are you against Hint ? Not to gather with Him in definite, active, intelligent service is to

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