Title: Changes and results after the unpardonable sin
Scriptures to Read: Various
Changes in Jesus’ Ministry
As a result of the unpardonable sin the ministry of Jesus changes. It changes radically. It changes in four important areas.
1. The purpose of His signs goes from the nation to the apostles– Up until this point the purpose of his miracles was signs for the nation to get them to make a decision. Now there will be no more signs except that one sign, the sign of Jonah, the sign of the resurrection. He will continue to perform many miracles after this event, but the purpose of his miracles will be to train the twelve disciples for the future work of the book of Acts.
2. The second change is in the miracles themselves, and there are two facets to the second result:
2.1. Before the events of Matthew 12:22-45, faith was not essential for miracles to occur, rather the miracles were to get people to believe in Him. Jesus performed miracles for the benefit of the masses. He did not require them to have faith first. And a good example of this is the one where we saw him healing the man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-17). We summarize it this way: Miracles go from the masses without faith to individuals with faith.
2.2. After the events of Matthew 12:22-45, faith in Jesus becomes essential for individuals to receive miracles. Furthermore, they are told not to proclaim their miracle to others. Previously, when he healed someone was healed He would tell them: “go and proclaim what God has done for you” (Example of Jewish leper in Luke 5:14). Now, after He heals someone He will tell them: “don’t tell anyone what God has done for you” (We will see this for example in Matthew 9:30 where he heals two blind men). He won’t apply the prohibition to Gentiles, as we will see. But as for the Jews He heals, they must follow the policy of silence, and those who benefit from his messianic power are forbidden to tell anyone about it. We can summarize it this way: His miracles go from tell all to tell no one.
3. The third result deals with the message He and His apostles will proclaim– Until Matthew 12, as we already saw, both He and His disciples went all over Israel, city to city and synagogue to synagogue, proclaiming Jesus to be the messianic king; offering to Israel the kingdom of the Jewish prophets. Now He will also forbid the apostles to tell anyone who He is. And we will see in a later section, when Peter makes his famous confession and says, “you are the Messiah, the son of the God, the Living One”, Messiah says to Peter: “Don’t tell anyone I am the Messiah” (Matthew 16:20). And they too must follow the policy of silence until that is rescinded with the Great Commission of Mathew 28. We can summarize it this way: He goes from proclamation of his Messiahship to silence about his Messiahship.
4. The fourth result is his method of teaching– Before His rejection, whenever Jesus taught the people publicly, He did it clearly and distinctly in ways that they could and did understand (Mark 1:22, 27; Luke 4:32, 36). And we saw when we looked at the Sermon on the Mount, when He was finished, we noticed what Matthew pointed out: “the people did understand what he was saying, and also understood where he differed from the Scribes and the Pharisees” (Matthew 7:28-29). But now, He will teach only in parables. And as we will soon see, the purpose of his parabolic teaching primarily is to hide the truth from the masses, to teach them in ways they could not and would not understand. Because by now they have received sufficient light to respond correctly. Even the apostles, as we will see, would not understand until he explains the parables to them. We can summarize it as: Jesus went from clarity in his teaching to parabolic in his teaching.
The unpardonable sin sets the stage for four specific things
The unpardonable sin sets the stage for four specific things:
1. It sets the stage for the second half of his ministry.
2. It sets the stage for the events coming up in the book of Acts.
3. It sets the stage for a new entity to come into being, the Ecclesia, the Church, the Body of the Messiah. It is His rejection that will lead to the birth of the new entity as of Acts 2.
4. It sets the stage for Jewish history for the next 2,000 years. It is a crucial turning point.