Matthew 12.22-45. Recognising good and evil

Once we reject the evidence of God we have no God. Once we reject the evidence for good there is no good. If more signs arrive they will only condemn us because we say we need more but refuse to trust God or his goodness when more arrives. The result is, we remain as we are, unchanged and unforgiven because that is what we want. In this challenging passage of forceful words, Jesus’ enemies cannot deny his miracles so instead they spin them and accuse him of evil. The question for us is how often does our culture spin the evidence of God and goodness to disarm them as wrong? How much does our culture desire to remain unforgiven because we are proud in our confussion and arrogant in our needs? The way forward is to be filled by God in Jesus Christ and not left empty in ourselves. [Audio | Notes]

Michael Flynn


Matthew 12.22-45

Matthew 12.22-45 | Recognising good and evil

Ordered, empty and without God

Healing and accusation (22-24)

Jesus’ response

  • Divided kingdom
  • Your own people/sons
  • A strong man has been bound

Jesus’ warning

  • Unforgivable
  • The good and the bad

Responding to Jesus

Give us a sign

  • The sign of Jonah
  • The parable of the empty person

What are we filled with?

For further thought

Q: Why does calling the good work of Jesus, evil, potentially cut Jesus’ accusers off from forgiveness?

Q: How would you use 12:30-32 to encourage a Christian friend who thinks they cannot be forgiven?

Q: In 12.39-39, why won’r Jesus provide a sign to show he is from God?

Q: If the sign of Jonah includes the response of the nations (represented by Nineveh in the book of Jonah) to the message – what is the message Jesus, the Son of Man (verse 40) brings?

Q: The New Testament distinguishes between illness and spiritual possession. From Matthew 8.28-34, 9.27-34 and this passage, what are the characteristics of spiritual possession? 

Q: How do these characteristics apply to a culture like ours which is tempted to call good, evil and will not respond to God in Jesus Christ (12.43-45)?