Summary: Malice is an evil that is fathered by Satan himself. Malice is a deep malevolence and cruelty that has absolutely no hint of goodness or light to it. Malice is wickedness with not a single hint of kindness or humanity to it. Such is the case with Satan, e
Jesus And The Forbidding Pharisees – Part 3
Scolding The Sanctimonious And The Self-Righteous
Malice is an evil that is fathered by Satan himself. Malice is a deep malevolence and cruelty that has absolutely no hint of goodness or light to it. Malice is wickedness with not a single hint of kindness or humanity to it. Malice is a nastiness that is rooted in hatred toward the object of said malice; a hatred so deep and so depraved that the perpetrator will many times defeat themselves in the pursuit of their malice.
Such is the case with Satan, especially during the time that the Messiah physically walked this earth. In our text today, we find the story of a man who is possessed by a demon. The result of this possession is that the man is both sightless and unable to speak. He cannot see who or what is around him, and he cannot tell anyone what he wants or needs or feels or thinks.
This type of demonic activity was most prevalent during the time that Jesus was on the earth simply for the reason that His enemy was attempting in every way possible to subvert, sabotage, undermine, destabilize and weaken the ministry and mission of Christ. His malice toward Jesus was so deep and so depraved that he would stop at nothing in his attempts to turn people away from Jesus, or destroy them in the process. He was rarely successful when Jesus was around – at least with the common folk.
Every time Jesus runs up against someone that the devil or his demons have possessed and tormented, Jesus frees them and heals them – one-hundred percent! The devil’s attempts to weaken and undermine the ministry and mission of Jesus only served to strengthen and bolster His both. Christ’s power was manifested and magnified by His defeats of the enemy’s attacks. People were drawn to Jesus, not turned away. Instead of fleeing from Him, they were drawn to Him – by the thousands they came seeking Him.
The only people Satan seems to be able to be successful with are the self-righteous – those that Jesus encountered then, as well as those who live among us today. That right there should serve as a warning to all of us – avoid being self-righteous at all costs, for it is the sanctimonious and the self-righteous that Satan uses and that Christ opposes.
1 John 3:8b says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” At every turn, Jesus overcame the devil’s vilest aggressions against the people He had come to save. In this instance, the man had been so overwhelmed by the attack of the enemy that he was virtually powerless in life. The same is true for many today. See how Jesus dealt with it? “And He healed him”.
That is the same response Jesus has to the onslaughts of the enemy against us today in our lives; He defeats the enemy and He heals us. I find it interesting that even though there was blindness and dumbness for many people in that day, the Holy Spirit discerned between those who were smitten by natural disaster and those who had been struck by super-natural disaster. Jesus healed both, but the demonic activity He overcame was much more dramatic.
There are people around us everyday – some even within our own families and households – who have been overcome by the malice of the enemy. How do we respond? We should be responding as Jesus did – with compassion and intercession to bring healing in to the lives of the possessed and the oppressed.
Look at the split response of those who witnessed Christ’s act of mercy: some were amazed, others were offended. This man was miserable and Jesus Christ relieved that misery. The common people were astounded – Matthew uses the word amazed.
This is a term that illustrates the difficulty of expressing in one English word the wide range of startled emotion, wonder, astonishment, awe, covered by four Hebrew words and by four Greek words. These words range in meaning from amazement accompanied by terror and trembling, to an astonishment full of perplexity, wonder, awe and joyous surprise.
Amazed is the word especially used to show the effect of Christ’s miracles, teaching, character and Divine personality on those who saw and heard Him and who were made conscious of His supernatural power, as in our text today. The picture here is that they were beside themselves with excitement over what they were witnessing and what it indicated about the Man doing it – they were convinced at this point that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
Their question, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can He?" Shows a keen awareness of the uniqueness of the miracle that Jesus carried out. Back when we were studying the miracles of Jesus in Matthew 9, Jesus healed another man who had been possessed by a demon. Matthew 9:33 records this response for us: “After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."