Matthew 12:22-30 (Spiritual and Physical Healing, Satan’s Kingdom, Unity)

Mat 12:22-24   In what way was the demon possessed man whom Jesus healed afflicted?  What does Mat 12:22 teach us about the ability of evil spirits to afflict people physically?  Cf. Luk 11:14-15.  By what means did Jesus heal the man?  See Mat 12:24.  What does this teach us about the relationship between physical healing and spiritual healing?  Is it possible that many of our afflictions that we suppose to be purely physical might in fact have a spiritual cause?  What is the danger to those who believe that their physical health is the result of purely physical causes?  In what ways should the understanding that one’s spiritual well-being influences one’s physical well-being impact our lives?  What was the response by the crowds of people to the man’s healing?  See Mat 12:23.  Does their question indicate that they believed Jesus to be the Son of David?  What does it indicate about their openness to the possibility that Jesus might be the expected Messiah?  What was the response by the Pharisees to this openness by the multitudes, and why?  See Mat 12:24 and cf. Act 5:17, 13:45.  What does their response indicate about their openness to the possibility that Jesus might be the expected Messiah?  Did their lack of openness have anything to do with a lack of supporting evidence?  What was the ultimate reason for their lack of openness?  Cf. Mar 3:5.  Can you give examples of how that is like some people today?  What is the great danger to one’s soul of such hardness of heart?  See Mat 12:31-32 and cf. Heb 3:7-15.  Are our expectations about Jesus’ second coming so entrenched that our hearts have become hardened to the possibility that they might be wrong?

Mat 12:25-30   With what three arguments does Jesus in these verses rebuff the Pharisee’s charge that He was casting out demons by the prince of demons?  See Mat 12:25-26,27,29.  What does Mat 12:26 indicate is the spiritual counterpart of the kingdom of God?  In what way is Satan’s kingdom like God’s in outward appearance, but the exact opposite in substance?  Cf. 2Co 11:3-4,13-15.  See also 2Pe 2:18-19 and consider the outward appeal of Satan’s kingdom and the allure to our flesh by his servants, but the inevitable bondage it brings (Mat 12:22); what do we learn from this about the great danger to the souls of those who have a form of godliness, serve God in pretense, but have no real love for the truth?  See 2Th 2:9-12 and think: which “god” do they suppose they serve, and whose kingdom do they suppose they are in, and how is that different from the actual truth?  In what way is this a violation of the first of the ten commandments, and what does this teach us about the danger of “picking and choosing” what we believe about God?  Cf. Exo 20:3.  What do Mat 12:25-26 teach us about the importance of unity within any organization?  What is essential in order for such unity to exist?  See Mat 8:9 and think: what happens if there is no structure of authority and everyone acts as their own head and does what is right in his own eyes?  What do these verses teach us about the importance of family and congregational unity for the strength of our homes and churches?  What does Jesus say about a house that is divided against itself?  What evidence do we have from our present society that this is true?  What authority structure has God ordained for unity within the church and in our homes in order that they may be strong, and how is it different from the way other organizations exercise authority?  See 1Co 11:3, 12:28, 16:15-16, Eph 4:11, 5:22-25, 1Th 5:12-13, Heb 13:7,17; cf. Mat 20:25-28.

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