22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” — Matthew 12:22-30.
Jesus heals a demon-possessed, blind and mute person. This amazes the multitudes who are caused to wonder whether Jesus could be the Son of David. The title “Son of David” is more than a statement of physical genealogy. It is a Messianic title. When people referred to Jesus as the Son of David, they meant that He was the long-awaited Deliverer, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
Here we find the Pharisees at their enraged worst. What they are implying is the essence of the unpardonable sin, attributing God’s work to Satan and calling that which is true, false and that which is light, darkness. The Pharisees could not deny the marvelous powers of Jesus so they attributed them to the supernatural power of the evil one (cf. Matt. 9:32-34; Mark 3:22-30, Luke 11:14-26).
Jesus knows their thoughts and poses several questions and arguments, the answers to which are obvious.
1. A divided kingdom, city, or house cannot stand.
2. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided, and his kingdom cannot stand.
3. If Jesus casts out demons by Satan, how do the Pharisees’ children cast them out.
The children are the disciples of the Pharisees, who either really possessed the power of casting out evil spirits (exorcism), or pretended to have that power. In either case the argument of Jesus was unanswerable.
Jesus says in v.28 that, if He is casting out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon them!
He that is not with me…v.30 — In addition to his other arguments, Jesus urges this general principle, that there can be but two parties in the universe.
If anyone did not act with him, he was against him. If he gathered not with him, he scattered. This is taken from the practice of persons in harvest. He that did not gather with him, or “aid” him, scattered abroad, or opposed him. The application of this was, “As I have not united with Satan, but opposed him, there can be no league between us.” The charge, therefore, is a false one.[Barnes.]