Matthew 12:22–32: Binding the Strong Man

by Apr 17, 2023Premium, The Gospel of Matthew0 comments

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When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, the conflict between him and Pharisees moved from general opposition to outright hostility. The Pharisees are not only plotting murder (Matt. 12:14), but they also begin an active campaign to turn the hearts and minds of the people against Jesus as well. When Jesus heals a demon-oppressed man who is blind and mute, though, the Pharisees recognize that their task will be very difficult. The people intuitively know by Jesus’ miracles exactly who Jesus is and what he is doing. Namely, Jesus is plundering Satan’s house.

Discussion Questions

1. What does Jesus’ miracle demonstrate about his identity and his power (v. 22)? What do the people mean when they ask whether Jesus might be the “Son of David” (v. 23)? What has Matthew told us about Jesus as the Son of David so far? How do the Pharisees react to the sentiments of the crowd (v. 24)? How does Jesus respond to their accusations (vv. 25–27)? What does Jesus teach us about the spiritual warfare taking place in this world?

2. Who is “the Spirit of God” (v. 28)? What role does the Holy Spirit have in Jesus’ work of casting out demons? If Jesus is God, why does Jesus rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to do these miracles? What is Jesus’ relationship to the kingdom of God? What is the Holy Spirit’s relationship to the kingdom of God? What is the relationship of the kingdom of God to the kingdom of Satan?

3. Who is the “strong man” (v. 29)? What is the strong man’s house? What are the strong man’s goods? What would it mean for Jesus to plunder those goods? What does it mean for the strong man to be bound? When and where did Jesus bind the strong man? Why was the binding of the strong man so important in the course of Jesus’ life and ministry? How does this passage help us to understand the binding of Satan in Revelation 20:1–3?

4. What is Jesus’ warning to those who are not “with him” (v. 30)? What does Jesus mean by blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Why is this blasphemy so severe that it will not be forgiven, even though blasphemy against the Son of Man will be forgiven? Should Christians worry that they may have inadvertently committed this unforgivable sin? Why or why not? How, then, should we apply what Jesus teaches here?