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Lesson 2

The first stage of observation began after Jesus healed a leper with his seventh recorded miracle. The Jewish leaders thought Jesus to be a blasphemer worthy of death, as the scriptures teach only God can forgive sin. They refused to believe that Jesus could forgive sin because he was acting with the authority of God. Deliberately making this point plain, Jesus left them only two choices, believe he was their messiah, or reject the miracles he was performing as fraudulent.

ark 2:6-11 English Standard Version
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

During the second stage of interrogation the Jewish leaders were free to ask questions and raise objections in order to determine if the miracle claims were valid. 

After Jesus completed his 17th recorded miracle in Matthew 9 and the second messianic miracle of casting out a mute demon, the Jewish observers voiced their opinions. Choosing not to believe Jesus, they branded his power demonic, a lie they hoped would stick and one that people would be distracted by and believe. 

Matthew 9:34 Good News Translation
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is the chief of the demons who gives Jesus the power to drive out demons.”

As the Jews followed Jesus around the country they repeated their lie vigorously whenever he would cast out demons. Having closed their minds to reason, they rejected any miracle that proved his power. Had the Bereans been as closed minded to Paul’s teachings as those Jews, would’ve they become Christians? How can we test to see if a teaching is true today? Have you ever proved a belief to be biblically accurate before you accepted it?

Mark 3:22 International Standard Version
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem kept repeating, “He has Beelzebul,” and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of demons.”

Matthew 12:24 Living Bible24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “He can cast out demons because he is Satan, king of devils.”

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