Rather than coming to terms with the obvious power at work in his ministry, some of the people slander Jesus and say that he is only able to exorcise demons because he works for Beelzebul. (Beelzebul was a Philistine god that came to represent the Devil for the Jews.) Jesus points out the obvious stupidity of this accusation: if he is driving out demons on behalf of the prince of demons, that means that the demonic forces are working against themselves.
I think it’s interesting that his opponents would prefer to call Jesus a name than to actually reckon with his ideas. That should be a warning to us: when people resort to simplistic labeling and name-calling, rather than reckon with the actual ideas themselves, it means they don’t actually have anything to say, and no argument to make. American politics is full of this kind of lazy bullying. Let us not be like that today–if we think someone is wrong or misguided, let’s do the hard work of argument and avoid the easy resort to useless labeling.
P.S. Quick thought about vv. 24-26. Jesus is just describing what evil spirits are like: they will torment someone for a while, give someone a temporary reprieve, and then come back worse than before. If that’s what evil spirits are like, then it is ridiculous that some people are unable to celebrate that he has been exorcising demons; rather, they want to just criticize and call names.
***Sign Up to Receive My Weekday Updates***
Subscribe here to receive a weekday update as we read through the Gospel of Luke.
In addition to my weekday blogging on the Gospels, I also write occasionally about other topics. Subscribe here to be notified when I publish a new post.
P.S. All Subscribers Will Get My Free Whitepaper!
If you sign up for my Andrew Forrest newsletter, I’ll send you a white paper I’ve written called “The Simple Technique Anyone Can Immediately Use to Become a Better Communicator”.