A Divided Kingdom

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Turn with me to Matthew chapter 12.
It is indeed good to be preaching to you after a short break, and it is even better to be continuing our expository series through Matthew.
I am a changed man in many ways since the last time I preached. Last time, I was just another man. But now, I’m a father. In the weeks between then and now, my eyes have beheld the miracle of life, and how great and mighty is the Lord our God, who alone authors the lives of men. Cinu and I are so thankful to all of you for your prayers and support.
And my prayer to the Lord as I serve him in serving you, is that he would multiply his blessings upon little Ethan. Let that be a prayer for all of us, that God would bless our children on account of our obedience and faithful service to him.
The Bible tells us in
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Remember parents, that your greatest gift to your children is that you seek after God above all else.
So join me as I start with a word of prayer.


In this chapter, the tension between Jesus and the Pharisees are at an all time high, and this is intentionally brought upon by Jesus in the way he deals with the Pharisees. Jesus calls them out on their hypocrisy and takes them to task on what they believed to be lawful.
When they accused his disciples for plucking grain on the Sabbath, Jesus defends them and then goes on to enter their synagogue (possibly those Pharisees) and heal another man with a whithered arm on the sabbath, Matthew 12:10
Matthew 12:10 ESV
10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him.
so that they might accuse him. Jesus never backed down from a good fight (if you know what I mean), and wasn’t afraid to face them head on and confront their unbiblical suppositions.
And it is in that context we come to verses 22-32.


Matthew 12:22 ESV
22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.
This man is unlike the one in John 9:2, where the discipled queried Jesus if the man in that situation was born blind because of his sins, or his parent’s. And Jesus responds, John 9:3
John 9:3 ESV
3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
This was not the circumstance for this demoniac. His blindness and inabilty to speak were a direct cause of severe sin, to the point of demon opression.
We live at a time where doctors have a name for all sorts of sicknesses, and they would no doubt have categorised this man as having a sever case of something that definitely wasn’t demon opression.
Brothers and sisters, the answer to all problems of human suffering is not psychology. Be discerning, and know that there exists a realm of the demonic and they are very real.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
If the hyper-charismatic wing of the church is responsible for over spiritualising everything, then the reformed or conservative wing is responsible for reducing all forms of the spiritual to mere academic and psychological thought.
We have to discern the difference between sin and depression and demonic oppression.
Matthew 12:23–24 ESV
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”
What is it that causes these people, at the sight of such powerful evidence of Christ’s divinity, to hold on to lies and conspiracy theories rather than repenting.
When the people were amazed at such power, the spiritual elite (so-called) of that time hardened their hearts.
Beloved, there’s a difference between godly caution and ungodly skepticism. Recently I was writing an article called the “Anti-Christian Christian Sentiment”, where I talk about Christian sentiment used to mean biblical sentiment. But today, an alarming number of Christians define terms based on their experience. Good men have come to the conclusion that church is not the way to go because of their bad experiences in the church. So, they define Christian fellowship, accountability and ministry as something we have to look for on the outside, and so they redefine what God ordained simply because they’re driven by what a church should not be, rather than going to scripture to see what a church should be.
The same is the case with so many cessationists who do not believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to this day. In any serious engagement you have with them, you will find that they define their stance on the basis of not looking like those hyper-charismatic weird churches, rather than conforming to Scripture.
Brothers and sisters, this kind of sentiment is Pharisaical, not biblical. They are anti-christian chrisitan sentiments in that they are sentiments experienced by genuine christians who fail to see the unbiblical nature of their position.
As a Christian you are bound to have a biblical position on things. When Christians tell me that they are open but cautious of the spiritual gifts, I worry if they know what they mean when they say that. Because many of them are open to spiritual gifts as long as nothing happens, but when things start happening they have no biblical foundation of understanding them, that caution immediately turns to skepticism, and like the Pharisees, you too can look God’s power dead in the eye and say it was satanic.
Matthew 12:25–26 ESV
25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
When I was younger, this verse used to confuse me. If satan casts out satan, why should he be divided against himself? Isn’t it a powerfully deceptive strategy? If Satan could fake goodness like an angel of light to deceive people into believing in his lies.
Well, come to think of it, it is indeed one of his strategies. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
2 Corinthians 11:12–15 ESV
12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
But what Jesus is saying here is not that satan can’t masquerade himself as an angel of light, but that what Jesus is doing here is a decisive defeat of the enemy that doesn’t do anything in the way of furthering satan’s goals.
There are false miracles happening today that mislead many who seek after a sign. But the extent of the miracle working that Jesus is doing is a colossal defeat of the enemy at every turn. One could never look at this and call it a scheme of evil.
But let us take a step back, and look at the principle here, of the divided kingdom. “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
Now, this is not a situation of masquerading or strategy of people united toward a common goal. This is a kingdom truly divided. It is laid waste because you have one group trying to do something and another moving in the opposite direction. If one wants to build and further the kingdom, the other wants to destroy that development.
But that’s not all he says, for he doesn’t just say kingdom, he says no city and no house divided against itself will stand.
I want to take this principle that Jesus gives us and apply it to the church and to the home.
The reason that we as a church follow the lead of Scripture in defining a proper membership where one is interviewd and signs a covenant before becoming an official member of this church; the reason we do this is because the church ought not have unbelievers in its membership. The greatest plague in so many churches around us is this, that there is no healthy qualification or requirement for what it means to be a members of a church.
Romans 8:5–8 ESV
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Ephesians 2:1–2 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
There is a fundamental conflict between the unbeliever and the believer that makes it impossible for one to spiritually fellowship with the other.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Therefore, a church with a proliferation of unbelieving members is a kingdom divided that will not stand. It will be laid waste.
Then what about the family? Do you see the importance of choosing a believing spouse? Now, I want to caution you about how a family is often divided against itself.
In any family, the fundamental pillars are mom and dad. The mom has specific roles and responsibilites in the home, and the dad has specific roles and responsibilities in the home, and together, they hold the frame. Children are a blessing and they are home grown in the adminition of the Lord till they go out and become pillars of their homes.
Mom and Dad divided can bring the house down. Now, I want to say something to believing spouses, and those of you who are married to an unbelieving spouse.
To the believing couple, it is your responsibility to work to be united in the way you build your home and raise your children. You need to work as one, and your children need to see you as one. Cinu and I have a lot of discussion on this already with Ethan just being hardly two weeks old. And we’ve already recognised a tendency in each of us to want to have Ethan be more attached one of us.
Fathers, if you are trying to be the hero to your children at the cost of their affection for their mother, you’re dividing your home. And mom, if you’re coddling your children so dad can be the scary one, you’re dividing your home.
[Parental Strategy must be united]
To the person married to an unbelieving spouse, I give you the great hope of Acts 16:31
Acts 16:31 ESV
31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
and 1 Corinthians 7:16
1 Corinthians 7:16 NASB95
16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Press on, to pray and expectantly hope for the salvation of your spouse without delay, that you may glorify God in being united as one.
Now, I could keep going on and on but I believe you get the picture. Brothers and sister, base your life on the word of God, and not on the bias of your experiences whether good or bad.
Build your church and your family on God’s foundation and not your petty emotions.
Matthew 12:27–28 ESV
27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
The use of the word sons here, is also a way of saying follower or disciples. So, the sons or disciples of the Pharisees were involved in exorcism, however not the kind that Jesus did. We see a glimpse of this in Acts 19:13-16
Acts 19:13–16 NASB95
13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
They did exorcisms through strange rituals and cultic practices and incantations, none of which were of the Spirit of God. This is what we see in other cults and religions that practice similar exorcisms.
These often took long hours but what Jesus did was in stark contrast to what they did. For He, by the word of his power drove the demons away.
[They will be your judge]
[The kingdom of God is upon you]
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more