And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11: 14-23 and Matthew 12: 22-30)
A battle of the mind took place between Christ and the Jews. The Lord cast out a demon from a deaf and dumb man. Some Jews realized Jesus could be the Messiah, but others refused to attribute Jesus’ miracle to God. Their hearts were so hardened that they preferred to ascribe this amazing miracle to the devil. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus made his case in a masterful display of logic, teaching us that He is not against us using evidence and reason. Contrary to what some people think, He never advocated for blind faith.
- He exposed the absurdity of attributing His miracle to Satan.
Why in the world would Satan attack himself? It could only lead him to destroy his own kingdom! Jesus literally called them to reason about it –their thoughts were absurd!
- Jesus asked them to consider the evidence of past miracles.
The Jews believed that the exorcisms performed among them in the past had been made by the power of God. Again, it was reasonable to think that if demons were cast out before by God’s power, Jesus cast out this devil by God’s power as well.
- Jesus called them to make up their minds.
Casting out demons was possible either by the power of God, or by the power of Satan, but there was no way to attribute them to both! If the Jews ascribed them to Satan, then those among them who by God’s power cast out demons would be their judges. If they attributed them to the Lord, then they had to admit that Jesus had been sent by God, therefore He was the Messiah!
- Jesus explained that He was mightier than Satan.
The Lord told them a parable where the stronger man defeats the weaker one, implying that this miracle was a proof of His superiority over Satan. If He was able to cast the demon out it was clearly because He was God.
Jesus allowed the Jews to witness a miracle and use their intellect, their reasoning, to process what they had witnessed. Nevertheless, the Jew’s problem was not their minds, but their hearts. Against reason they rejected the clear evidence that Jesus was the Son of God.
The Bible describes Jesus as the wisdom of God. Why would He be against us using every aspect of our nature to discern the truth and come to Him?
Let’s come to Jesus with all that we are. He is always willing not only to show us the miraculous, but also the vast evidence that supports His claims. If you happen to be an unbeliever, here are the good news, if you really want to know the truth about Jesus you don’t’ have to check your brain at the door, just remember to come with an honest heart as well.
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