17This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21In his name the nations will put their hope.” 22Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” — Matthew 12:17-24
The popularity of Jesus offended many members of the religious community. How can a mere son of a carpenter acquire such eloquence in religious matters, and gain so much admiration for his gifts in preaching, healing, and teaching?
For the pious elite, it was simply unimaginable and insulting. Expectedly, they did everything to discredit Jesus. They even went as far as accusing the Lord of using demonic powers for his miracles and works of healing.
But despite all the character assassination and public humiliation, nothing, and no one could deny the fact that Jesus was setting people free from their sufferings. He was changing lives.
One fine day, even a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute experienced spiritual freedom and was able to speak and see after an encounter with the Lord!
What the enemies of the Lord failed to realize was that Jesus was not just some miracle worker going around the community offering instant relief for people’s pains. Jesus was the very fulfillment of an age-old prophesy of great hope given to Isaiah. “In his name the nations will put their hope.”
There are two aspects of the life and personhood of Jesus that have set him apart to be the hope of the nations.
Mt. 12:18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” A servant, in the context of biblical language, is a “doer” or “fulfiller” of the master’s will.
According to the prophetic revelation, as a Chosen Servant, Jesus carried upon him the Spirit of God. In short, there was absolutely nothing in Jesus that was not in line with the will and intentions of God.
Sadly, the will of God is no longer important to many people today. There are simply many dimensions of contemporary life that have influenced us to become self-sufficient, autonomous, and isolated from a meaningful relationship with God.
There is nothing wrong with seeking a healthy sense of independence and self-reliance but because of our sinful nature, we often fail to discern where lines should be drawn.
The truth is that the moment we stop being doers and fulfillers of God’s will, we will certainly lose sight of what our existence is really all about.
Jesus has taught us that it is only when we learn to relinquish ourselves to God — to serve him and pursue his will with all sincerity — that our lives become meaningful, purposeful, significant, and yes, even eternal.
23All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” The title “Son of David” refers to the promised “Savior-King” who will one day come and reign among God’s people in the spirit and greatness of King David.
When the people saw the miracles and wonders that Jesus performed, many wondered if he could finally be “the one.” Was he the precious and mighty Son of David that they were waiting for?
Some did believe so, but for those whose hearts were filled with skepticism and doubt, Jesus was not and could never be the Son of David. He was the son of the Devil himself. Many accused Jesus of using the demonic powers of Belzeebub (The Lord of the flies/the prince of demons) to perform his miracles.
Obviously, there were many “Belzeebubs” in the time of Jesus who constantly challenged and opposed the rule and reign of the true Son of David — God’s Chosen One.
Using every trick in the book, these forces tried to get in the way of the Lord to stop him from fulfilling the redemption plan of God.
In the same way, we, too, must be warned there are still many Belzeebubs in our time. These are philosophies, ideologies, counterfeit idols, and persuasions who pull us away from the true Christ — deceiving us, confusing us, and leading us to our downfall and destruction.
But the greater tragedy is that oftentimes, the very ones creating these modern-day Belzeebubs are ourselves.
In The Wounded Healer written by Henri Nouwen, he retells a tale from ancient India about four royal brothers who each decided to master a special ability. Time went by and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned. “I have mastered a science,” said the first, “by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it.” “I,” said the second, “know how to grow that creature’s skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones.” The third said, “I am able to create its limbs if I have flesh, the skin, and the hair.” “And I,” concluded the fourth, “know how to give life to that creature if its form is complete.”
Thereupon the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their special abilities. As fate would have it, the bone they found was a lion’s. One added flesh to the bone, the second grew hide and hair, the third completed it with matching limbs, and the fourth gave the lion life. Shaking its mane, the ferocious beast arose and jumped on his creators. He killed them all and vanished into the jungle.
Oftentimes, we, too, create what can eventually devour us. Healthy goals and personal dreams can one day become the idols of our hearts. Possessions and properties that make our lives easy and convenient can become objects of our obsession and worship one day.
Unless our hearts are truly attuned to the One True God, we all have the capacity to eventually destroy ourselves.
When Jesus came as the Son of David, he came to assume the place that rightfully belongs to no one but to him as the One True God of the world who alone can give us lasting security, infinite satisfaction, genuine purpose, and eternal life.
Friends, look around. The world is in very great pain. Economies are collapsing. Nations are in fear. There is no end to wars. Now, more than ever before, may we not lose sight of Jesus Christ; only in his name shall we find genuine hope; only in his name shall the nations find their genuine peace.