No Nose

Matthew 12:22-30
22Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.
23And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”
24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”
25Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
26And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
30Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

There is an ancient cliché, dating back to at least the 12th Century that says, “She cut off her nose to spite her face.” It means that you seek to harm another but your actions actually cause you more harm. It is said the phrase originated when the nuns in Europe feared attack by the Vikings and would disfigure their faces to avoid rape. Abraham Lincoln also gained fame for the phrase “A house divided against itself cannot stand” spoken during his second inaugural address. The truth is the concept of fighting against your own best interests originated with Jesus!

As Jesus continues His compassionate ministry of healing and restoration a demon possessed man is brought to Him who has lost speech and the ability to see. Of course Jesus heals the man by casting out the demon that torments him. Immediately Jesus is accused of colluding with Satan in order to have such power. The Pharisees can see that He has power and can’t possibly deny what they have seen with their own eyes. But to admit that this might be God – they cannot allow that concept to stand. So they put Satan into the mix. Even the general population expresses doubt. Verse 23 is actually phrased in the negative in the Greek. “This one isn’t the Son of David, is he?” Surely this guy isn’t the guy, is he? So Jesus masterfully points out the flaw in their charge. No one with a right mind sets himself against his own goals.

Jesus continues to push back at the established religious leadership. While they cannot deny His power, they still deny His deity. Even today we are surrounded by those who know His story and yet deny His deity. It is a dangerous place to stand. Those who want to continue to deny Him are cutting off their nose to spite their face.