READ : Matthew 12:22-32
The Holy Spirit appears twice in our reading for today.
First, Jesus makes clear that a man possessed by a demon was set free from the power of the demon and healed by “the Spirit of God.” He also says, “I, by the Spirit of God cast out demons.” Jesus is claiming to be the channel, the conduit, through whom the Holy Spirit flows into diseased bodies and souls. The power to heal and to expel the demon comes from the Holy Spirit.
He then turns on his detractors and warns them of the unpardonable sin. By attributing Jesus’ healing power to Satan they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. John Calvin explains it this way, “They said he [Jesus] was endowed with an unclean spirit, thus maliciously and deliberately turning light into darkness.”
In the same way many unbelievers malign the power of the Holy Spirit as he manifests himself in the church today. They treat Christians as a harmful influence in society. How long will the Holy Spirit tolerate their treatment of him?
“Holy Spirit, all divine,
dwell within this heart of mine;
Cast down every idol throne,
reign supreme and reign alone.”
(Andrew Reed, 1787-1862)