Roy A. Huebner
Notice: Extensive notes are provided to accompany the audio ministry below as some of these concepts would lead to further meditation on behalf of the interested and exercised listener.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever – Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
“For this reason, I say unto you, Every sin and injurious speaking shall be forgiven to men, but speaking injuriously of the Spirit shall not be forgiven to men. And whosoever shall have spoken a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming [one]” (Matthew 12:31-32).
The Rejection of the Son of Man
The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was a sin that was committed when the Lord Jesus was personally here, working those works of power which He did. The religious leaders in rejecting Him said it was by the power of Beelzebub (“the prince of demons”). Calling the Holy Spirit Beelzebub was blasphemous. He always worked by the power of the Holy Spirit and according to the will of His Father.
Matthew 12 is the great dividing point of the book. Chapter 13 onward is marked by a radical change, because in Matthew 13, we find that the Lord Jesus assumes the position of a Sower. He had been looking for fruit-bearing in Israel, and for Him to take the position of a Sower was to take a totally different ground with respect to Israel. This occurs due to the nation’s moral rejection brought out and manifest in chapter 12.
The title Son of Man refers to His rejection. It is also a title that encompasses more than the title Son of David. As the Son of David, and as the Christ, He will reign over Israel. Son of Man is a more universal title, and it is connected directly with His rejection.
The Church, The Preaching of the Kingdom of the Heavens, The Sermon on the Mount
Short Overview Until Chapter 12:
- In the earlier part of Matthew, we find John, the messenger, go before Him declaring and preaching the Kingdom of the Heavens (peculiar phrase in Matthew due to its highly dispensational character). Due to Matthew’s dispensational and governmental character, we find in this book that the Church is mentioned. Israel was losing its place as the place where God’s will and order was to be administered.
- John preaches the Kingdom of the Heavens is at hand. The Lord picks this up, and then we get the Sermon on the Mount (chapts. 5-7), which had a specific application at that time (although, not limited by it). There are principles that we learn from, but there was a specific application at that time, namely to present the Lord Jesus to man’s responsibility — and this is not how he will come the second time.
- The Lord, then, works miracles and shows the works of power (Hebrews 6:5) of that kingdom which is to come. The Lord Jesus sends the twelve out in chapter 10 — the Kingdom of the Heavens has drawn nigh!
- Up until this point (chapts. 11-12), the Kingdom is proclaimed at hand, and then that stops at chapter 12.
- In chapter 13, we get a complete view of a new phase of the Kingdom of the Heavens as a mystery (meaning undisclosed or unspoken of by the OT prophets) — He expounds a complete view of this kingdom and its character.
Help with understanding parables (J. N. Darby): There are things that are said in connection with the parables that go beyond the parable itself. It is the parable itself which must determine the time and not everything that the Lord added to it.
The preaching of the Kingdom of the Heavens Suspended: There is the cessation of preaching the kindgom of the heavens as being at hand. After the rapture of the saints to glory, the godly Jewish remnant will take up that preaching again. So we have an epoch of time during which this preaching is suspended. During the time of that suspension, the kingdom of the heavens in mystery from is presented to us as being in force.
A Clear Rejection: Seven Other Spirits, The Lord’s brethren (Matthew 12:45-50)
The Gospels: In the first three Gospels, we get the Lord Jesus in some human office/station down here. Not in John’s Gospel. There He is God eternal the Son come down to accomplish the Father’s will and ascended back up where He was before.
Mount of Transfiguration: In the first three Gospels, we get a tracing of His rejection, but not so markedly as in Matthew 12. In each case, you find following that the writing about the Transfiguration. The Mount of Transfiguration follows His rejection, but acts as a pledge that His kingdom will indeed be established by-and-by.
The Question of A.D. 70 – “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). Some commentators suppose that those there with the Lord had to see Him coming the second time to establish His kingdom in A.D. 70. — and hence He has already come. However, this is false. They (Peter, James, and John) saw that kingdom when on the Mount of Transfiguration, and Peter attests to this (2 Peter 1:16-21). The scene of the Mount of Transfiguration occurs right after the Lord spoke those words in the following chapter.
The Kingdom in its Mystery Form – This comes with the introduction of the Church (Chapters 13, 16).
“Seven other spirits” (12:45) – What becomes of Israel on account of the rejection.
“Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?” (vss. 12:46-48) – A moral separation with natural kinship with the nation Israel. No longer will His dealings be on a natural (as one born in Israel), but on a spiritual basis.
“For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (vs. 50).
An extensive recap of the above information – It is worth a second listen!
1) Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit vs. the sin of Ananias and Sapphira. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, as brought in Matthew 12, is a special sin and required the actual presence of the Lord here for it to be committed.
2) The books of the NT have an order (or design) that is beneficial for us to observe and study. The Gospels also have an order. It is written in Luke’s Gospel: “…to write to thee with method, most excellent Theophilus…” (vs. 1:3). The Gospels present the four-fold perfections of the Lord’s Person — King, Servant, Man, Son of God (His deity). Matthew presents the Lord as King, and it responds to the first of the living creatures (Revelation 4:6–8), the lion (the Lion of the Tribe of Judah).
3) “This wicked generation” – a Christ-rejecting generation that spans from those who came out of Egypt and extends until the Lord appears and “turns ungodliness from Jacob” (Isa. 59:20).
4) The last state shall be worse than the first – “Seven other spirits” = they shall perfect intercourse with wicked spirits (the number 7 = “perfect,” or “complete”).
5) The Lord declares who His brethren are. No more a question of natural relationship (the nation Israel), but now established on a relationship which is spiritual.
Further Witness to the Nation (Acts), and Gentile Believers Brought In
6) The rejection here in Chapter 12 forms a moral break with the nation. The Cross is a formalization of this break and it is official. A.D. 70 was a historical moment further permitted of God as a destruction of the great center of Judaism.
7) The preaching of Peter and Stephen to the nation Israel = examples of the cities of refuge from the Old Testament. Stephen said, “ye do always resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51), and yet they blasphemed and stoned him to death. This answers to the parable in Luke about the barren fig tree (Luke 13: 6-9). The nation Israel is figured in the barren fig tree that did not bear fruit for God.
8) We see how all these things lead the way for Gentile believers to be brought in and brought near to God (who previously were alienated).