The Holy Spirit exorcizes, no matter who you are | Matthew 12:24-28


But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.” He knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

Matthew 12.24-28

Even those that are not the people of God exorcise by the Holy Spirit. Don’t be so quick to discount the healing just because you disagree with the person or even if they’re not Christian! God is the Gospel of healing. However shalom happens, it is the Spirit that brings it.

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.

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Universal Intimacy: The Beautiful Transition | Matthew 11:25-39


At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:25-39

What a beautiful transition; from words of exclusivity to words of rest and invitation. It is precisely into the intensely exclusive intimacy between the Son and the Father into which we are invited to come and find rest. This is true Christian “Universalism”: the whole cosmos is brought into the exclusive, fiery love of the Trinity.

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.

Women at the Cross | Matthew 27:55-56


Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Matthew 27:55-54

It’s really interesting to me that Matthew adds this little addendum to the end of the account. Why point out the women that were there? Is the assumption that all the men have scattered, and so Matthew had to show his sources for this story?

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.

What Draws Out Jesus’ Compassion? | Matthew 15.32


Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”

Matthew 15.32

What evokes Jesus’ compassionate response and provision? Faithfulness, neediness, and weakness. That’s it. Not performance, not even belief. Just walking with him while being needy.

Further, we can be confident that he knows our need and knows we will “faint on the way” without him responding. And respond he will.

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.