Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marvelled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
Comment: As a young man I read C S Lewis’ book ‘Screwtape Letters’. In chapter 7 as the senior devil is trying to get his protege to understand how he should handle his ‘human subject’ on the subject of demons he writes the following : – “I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that “devils” are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.” Talking about demons in our modern age isn’t easy. People talk about them as a reality but then deny them when pressed, because they (we?) are too modern for ‘that sort of thing’.
Jesus did miraculous things, which He claimed showed His relationship to God. People couldn’t deny what they saw – the dumb man spoke. But because they needed Jesus to not be the Messiah of God they tried to paint Him as the tool, maybe even the chief, of the demonic world. Jesus goes on to show how ludicrous this proposition is and to warn them sternly that if you are healed then you need to fill your life with the truth or you’ll even more become the tool of Beelzebub!
Prayer: Help me not to scoff at things just because I don’t understand but rather seek to seek Your truth.