Jesus heals a demon-possessed man which causes the people to ask whether he is the long-awaited Messiah. The Pharisees pick up on the commotion and accuse Jesus of using the power of Satan to cast out the demon. Their claim makes sense considering the fact that the Pharisees are the true representatives of God and authorities on all things coming from God. Right? Wrong. Jesus exposes their intentions time and again. This time Jesus breaks down the faulty logic in their argument. It makes absolutely no sense to say that Jesus is wielding the power of Satan to cast out his own subject since Satan would have sent the demon to possess the man in the first place. Satan would be working against himself. Additionally, Satan would not even get the credit since the people were associating Jesus with the Son of David. If Jesus’ authority does not come from Satan, it must come from God.
Jesus’ ability to cast out demons also says something about Satan and kingdom of God. Satan has been superseded and bound by Jesus. The kingdom of God has come and is currently working toward its culmination when Jesus returns. Satan has no authority or rule. Jesus has come to set the captives free.
Matthew 12:22-29 (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. 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.” 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? 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. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.