|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:22-30 A soul under Satan's power, and led captive by him, is blind in the things of God, and dumb at the throne of grace; sees nothing, and says nothing to the purpose. Satan blinds the eyes by unbelief, and seals up the lips from prayer. The more people magnified Christ, the more desirous the Pharisees were to vilify him. It was evident that if Satan aided Jesus in casting out devils, the kingdom of hell was divided against itself; how then could it stand! And if they said that Jesus cast out devils by the prince of the devils, they could not prove that their children cast them out by any other power. There are two great interests in the world; and when unclean spirits are cast out by the Holy Spirit, in the conversion of sinners to a life of faith and obedience, the kingdom of God is come unto us. All who do not aid or rejoice in such a change are against Christ.
Verse 28. - The argument continues: "But if this be so (I say nothing about your disciples, but speak only of my own works) - if I really cast out devils by God's help, this shows such a strange putting forth of God's strength that it can mean nothing else but the coming of the Messianic kingdom." Observe that this could not be affirmed from the success of the Pharisees' disciples, for with them expulsion of devils, even if it were real, was, as it were, accidental, standing in no close connexion with their work (cf. Matthew 7:22, note). Besides, they did not, as our Lord did, claim to be the Messiah, and to inaugurate the kingdom. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God; but if I by the Spirit of God, etc. (Revised Version). The chief emphasis lies on by the Spirit of God, and there is a secondary emphasis on J, as compared with "your sons." Observe the absence of the article in ἐν πνεύματι Θεοῦ; contrast vers. 31, 32, and comp. Matthew 1:18, note. Luke has, "by the finger of God," a term used to designate God's power as put forth upon nature (Exodus 8:19; Exodus 31:18; cf. Psalm 8:3). Then. Little as you think it (ἄρα); cf. Luke 11:48. The kingdom of God. In contrast to Satan's kingdom (ver. 26). Is come (ἔφθασαεν: praevenit, Codex Brixianus; cf. Wordsworth and White's Vulgate). This may mean
(1) it has come sooner than you expected, it has got the start of you (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:15); or
(2) it has actually come as far as you, it has arrived. This latter sense seems to be more in accordance with Hellenistic usage (cf. Philippians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:16). Unto you; upon you (Revised Version), ἐφ ὑμᾶς.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God,.... As it was certain he did, from the nature, use, and design of such miracles; and it could not be reasonably thought, that Satan would assist in what was so very opposite to his kingdom and interest, and was so serviceable to the cause and glory of Christ. All the three persons had an hand in the miracles of the Messiah; they were done by Christ, in his Father's name, and by the power of the Spirit of God; from which the following inference may be justly deduced,
then the kingdom of God is come unto you: meaning, either the Messiah himself; or rather, his kingdom, the Gospel dispensation, which both Christ and John had declared to be at hand; of which the performing of miracles, particularly the casting out of devils, whereby the kingdom of Satan was so much weakened, was a clear proof.
Matthew 12:28 Parallel Commentaries
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