|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:14-26 Christ's thus casting out the devils, was really the destroying of their power. The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil's palace, where he dwells, and where he rules. There is a kind of peace in the heart of an unconverted soul, while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner is secure, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state, nor any dread of the judgment to come. But observe the wonderful change made in conversion. The conversion of a soul to God, is Christ's victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and power over it. All the endowments of mind of body are now employed for Christ. Here is the condition of a hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced confession, as Pharaoh's; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab's; or by a partial reformation, as Herod's. The house is swept, but it is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be delivered.
Verse 20. - But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. Here Jesus points to a fact well known and thoroughly established. There was no question here; the most obstinate cases of possession had yielded to that "finger" be spoke of here; the fiercest of the, alas! (then) great company of the insane, at the bidding of that quiet, humble Rabbi, for ever shook off the spirit of madness, in whatever form of terrible possession it had been dwelling in his body. There was no question here; the only point raised by his enemies how had that quiet Rabbi done these strange, mighty works - Jesus had answered; and now draws a picture of one of these acts of his. The "finger of God" in St. Matthew, where the same or a similar discourse is related, is called the "Spirit of God." The expression is strange, but is one not unusual in ancient Hebrew phraseology. So the Egyptian magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God" (Exodus 8:19). The ten commandments are described as written on the two tables of stone with the "finger of God." "You have seen by what power the devils obey me; yea, the kingdom of God, for which you are waiting and looking, lo, it is come upon you."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But if I with the, finger of God,.... The power of God, referring to Exodus 8:19 and so the Cabalistic Jews (r) explain it,
"the finger is one of the five in the hand, and is that finger which works by the power of Elohim;''
it is the same with the Spirit of God; See Gill on Matthew 12:28 which is often called the hand of the Lord, Ezekiel 1:3.
(r) R. Mosch in Sepher Hashem, apud Cabal. Denudata. T. I. par. l. p. 146.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. the finger of God—"the Spirit of God" (Mt 12:28); the former figuratively denoting the power of God, the latter the living Personal Agent in every exercise of it.
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