Jesus accused of serving Beelzebul

“Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined…” Jesus provides strong teaching to those who accuse him of serving the “prince of demons” by explaining the impossibility of such an accusation. This passage includes some significant themes to unpack as Jesus preaches unity wrapped in the context of “those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Today’s passage is another perspective on the accusation that Jesus was acting under the authority of Beelzebul (Satan). The reference in Matthew and Mark point to the Pharisees and teachers of the law (See insight posted here); Luke simply states “some of them said.” This post will focus on the passage in Luke where the name Beelzebul is used 4 of 9 times in the New Testament (NIV).

Luke 11:14-28

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This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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One Reply to “Jesus accused of serving Beelzebul”

  1. There is a lot to discuss in these 15 verses as we hear Jesus respond to those who accuse him of serving the prince of demons. I find myself focusing on the discourse and forgetting the first part of the passage where Jesus drives out a demon that has rendered a man mute (and blind according to the parallel passages in Matthew 12 and Mark 3). Apparently the man is not the focus of the lesson! It’s interesting that the people don’t talk about man being healed of his condition, that’s accepted as fact, instead they get twisted in the authority of Jesus.

    The crowd was amazed — and confused

    We’d probably be confused as well.  Certainly the news media today would pitch the story in all kinds of different angles (depending on their sponsors and intended audience). Impressed by the miracle, some asked for “a sign from heaven,” but their thoughts deceived them–Jesus knew what they were thinking so he preached on these points:

    • any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined
    • the kingdom of God has come upon you
    • God is infinitely stronger than Satan
    • whoever is not with me is against me
    • casting out demons is the beginning of the process
    • blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it

    Wow! That’s a lot of ground to cover! I’m only going to scratch the surface today, so I’d like to back up a bit and look at this scripture from a high level in the context of Jesus conveying what’s wrong with the current Jewish leadership and the direction they are pointing people.

    One of the consistent themes of Jesus’ preaching has to do with the inadequacy of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Actually, it’s a lot worse than that, but I want to focus on what Jesus is trying to tell us about himself and about God more than those who are misleading others.

    We must be united in purpose and completely immersed in the word of God. After spending a week at Exponential West, I continue to be amazed at how the diverse body of believers can be so united on their desire to “go and make disciples” all over the place. This is a group that is focused on making churches highly effective throughout this country (and the world) from a position of strength and courage. 

    Whoever is not with me is against me,
    and whoever does not gather with me scatters

    The verse above is a very strong statement in the middle of this discourse. We immediately identify with the first half of the verse: yes Jesus, we are with you. But what about the second half? If we’re not gathering, we are scattering. There is no middle ground.

    We must not be lured by those who are misleading people, who do not put their trust in God alone. Lord help us to cast out those demons that tempt and distract us and fill our minds with your word, your kingdom and your mindfulness. Let that be our guide as we are sent into the dark places.

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