Jesus and Beelzebul

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October 12, 2018 Friday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Gal 3:7-14 Gospel: Lk 11:15–26 hen Jesus was casting out a devil some of the people said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” So others wanted to put him to the test by asking him for a heavenly sign. But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your fellow members drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.“But suppose I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? (...) “When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands looking for a resting place. And finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits even worse than itself. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.” D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience Jesus’ enemies were confronted with the very serious question about Jesus’ authority over evil. Demonic power bows to no other power but God’s. The only conclusion the public could draw from

WJesus’ exorcism activities was that he was God who could drive out devils by mere command. The enemies could advance no other argument then the fallacious statement that Jesus drove out demons by the power of demons. Jesus exposed their incoherence. He explained that he could not have been a demon driving out his own minions. Their argument was also an insult to the exorcist that came before Jesus. The subtle implication is that they too were demons driving out demons. Jesus rightly asked: “If I drive them out by Beelzebul (prince of demons), by whom do your fellow members drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.”

Jesus declared that he was driving out demons by the finger of God. The implication is that he had declared war with the devil. The outcome of the war was predictable. God was sure winner. He warned his listeners, however, that the devil could still put up a good fight by finding allies among the people of God. For indeed it could happen that one from out of whom evil spirits are driven backslides. Exorcism leaves a void in his soul. If we does not fill up the void with God’s grace, the devil returns and repossesses him. He will be much worse than before. IN this sense, the devil wins the war.

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