The Lord Jesus Christ is called the “Lamb of God” in John 1:29. Certainly in His death He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7 in that, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth” (Acts 8:32). When the chief priests and the elders accused Him personally, “he answered nothing” (Mt. 27:12). The following verses reveal, “Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly” (Mt. 27:13-14).
However, when attacks were made against His doctrine, He fought back. The silent lamb then became the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). Opponents to His doctrine were exposed as hypocrites, and left embarrassed, not daring to pursue further argumentation (Mt. 22:18, 46). Though many examples of Jesus’ masterful reasoning in defense of the truth could be explored, space only allows for the examination of one such confrontation in this week’s article.
Jesus cast out a demon from one who, as a result, gained the ability to see and speak (Mt. 12:22). The people marveled at the miracle, asking, “Is this the son of David?” (Mt. 12:23). From the powerful evidence, they had concluded that Jesus must be the Messiah, God’s king, the Son of David. The Pharisees, envious of Jesus’ influence over the people, slandered Him saying, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Mt. 12:23). Jesus response thoroughly refuted the charge of His enemies and plainly declared the lesson to be learned from such a staggering display of power in the spiritual realm; He said:
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matthew 12:25-28.).
From the fact to which all agreed, a demon had been cast out, Jesus argued (1) that if the demon was cast out by the power of Satan, then Satan’s house would be divided, and (2) the followers of the Pharisee who claimed to cast out demons must then cast them out by the power of Satan as well. The Pharisees would have to admit first that Satan’s house is not divided. It stands and the power of it was evident from the demon possession taking place during that period of time. Next, the Pharisees would have to admit that when their followers claimed to cast out demons, they would not do such a thing by the power of Satan. Given those two admissions, the possibility that this demon was cast out by the power of Satan is removed. The only remaining possibility is that this demon was cast out by the power of God. Thus, Jesus—giving the significance of the miracle—concludes: “the kingdom of God is come unto you.”
Jesus’ wonderful love for the lost made Him go to the cross as a lamb to be sacrificed for the world’s sins, but it also moved Him to stand firm and argue when power-hungry religious leaders tried to obfuscate saving truths in the minds of those who were honest with the evidence. His reasoning was air-tight and His opponents knew it. Love is often redefined as acceptance in today’s world. To expose religious and moral sins that will cause the soul to be lost is thought by many to be unloving. Instead of accepting everything for the sake of others’ feelings, Jesus reasoned with others to bring out the truth and show right from wrong. Certainly, our approach must differ in regard to the attitude of the one involved in religious errors or moral sins (Jude 22-23); notwithstanding, to tell someone what stands in their way of being saved is loving and is following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mk. 10:21). Let us learn to be like our Lord, to be lions or lambs when love deems it appropriate.