Your judges (Lk 11:19-11:19)

“If I cast out demons

By Beelzebul,

By whom do

Your exorcist sons

Cast them out?

Therefore,

Let them be

Your judges!”

 

εἰ δὲ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια, οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν; διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ ὑμῶν κριταὶ ἔσονται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus turned the questions back on his inquisitors.  If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul (εἰ δὲ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια), how were their own exorcist sons able to cast out evil spirits (οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν)?  Let them be your judges (διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ ὑμῶν κριταὶ ἔσονται).  Matthew, chapter 12:27 noted that if Satan was casting out Satan, then he was divided against himself.  If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul, how were their own sons or other exorcists able to cast out demons?  Therefore, their own sons would be their judges.  Mark did not have this question and the argument about how their own sons or other exorcists were able to cast out demons.  What do you think about exorcism?

Satan divided (Lk 11:18-11:18)

“If Satan

Also is divided

Against himself,

How will his kingdom stand?

You say

That I cast out the demons

By Beelzebul.”

 

εἰ δὲ καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν διεμερίσθη, πῶς σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ; ὅτι λέγετε ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλειν με τὰ δαιμόνια.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if Satan was divided against himself (εἰ δὲ καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν διεμερίσθη), how would his kingdom stand (πῶς σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ)?  They were saying (ὅτι λέγετε) that he was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλειν με τὰ δαιμόνια) by Beelzebul (ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ).  Notice that the term used for the devil is now Satan, not Beelzebul.  Satan was the more familiar Hebrew term that considered the devil as a fallen angel.  There were similar statements in Matthew, chapter 12:26, and Mark, chapter 3:26.  Mark asked how was Satan able to cast out Satan?  If Satan has risen up against himself, he was divided.  He would not be able to last or stand, because the end of Satan has come.  Matthew also stated that if Satan was casting out Satan, then he was divided against himself.  How can his kingdom last?  These were legitimate concerns.  How was this divided kingdom of Satan and Beelzebul going to continue?  What do you about all this talk about the devil, demons, Satan, and Beelzebul?

Divided kingdom (Lk 11:17-11:17)

“But Jesus knew

What they were thinking.

He said to them.

‘Every kingdom

Divided against itself

Becomes desolate.

One house falls

On another house.”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ εἰδὼς αὐτῶν τὰ διανοήματα εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πᾶσα βασιλεία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν διαμερισθεῖσα ἐρημοῦται, καὶ οἶκος ἐπὶ οἶκον πίπτει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus knew what they were thinking (αὐτὸς δὲ εἰδὼς αὐτῶν τὰ διανοήματα).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that every kingdom (Πᾶσα βασιλεία) divided against itself (ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν διαμερισθεῖσα) becomes desolate (ἐρημοῦται).  One house falls against another house (καὶ οἶκος ἐπὶ οἶκον πίπτει).  There were similar statements in Mark, chapter 3:24-25, and Matthew, chapter 12:25.  Mark indicated that Jesus responded to the Scribes with his house divided remarks.  Jesus said to them that if a kingdom was divided against itself, that kingdom would not be able to stand.  If a house was divided against itself that house would not be able to endure.  This was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) favorite biblical passages about slavery.  Matthew said that Jesus knew what the inner thoughts of the Pharisees were, so that he said to them that every kingdom divided against itself would be destroyed.  No city or house divided against itself could endure for a long time.  This was a very strong argument against Jesus and Beelzebul working together.  What do you think the relationship of Jesus to the devil is?

He casts out demons by Beelzebul (Lk 11:15-11:15)

“But some of them said.

‘He casts out demons

By Beelzebul,

The ruler of demons.’”

 

τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν Ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια

 

Luke indicated that some anonymous people in the crowd said (τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν) that Jesus was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια) by Beelzebul (Ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ), the ruler or the prince of the demons (τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων).  Matthew, chapter 12:24, said that it was the Pharisees, not someone in the crowd, who heard that the people were calling Jesus the “Son of David,” a messianic name.  They then accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Beelzebul, the leader of the demons.  In other words, Jesus was casting out demons because he was working with the devil, the prince of the demons, Beelzebul.  Mark, chapter 3:22, said that the Scribes came down from Jerusalem, and not the Pharisees, as in Matthew, or someone in the crowd as in Luke, that accused Jesus of working with Beelzebul.  Thus, as the leader or ruler of the demons, he was casting out other demons.  The implication was that Jesus was working with the devil, the very leader of the demons, Beelzebul, an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies.”  However, Beelzebul had become another name for the devil or a major demon in early Christianity and late Judaism.  What do you think the role of the devil is in your life?

The disciple and the teacher (Lk 6:40-6:40)

“A disciple

Is not above

His teacher.

But everyone

Who is fully qualified

Will be

Like his teacher.”

 

οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον· κατηρτισμένος δὲ πᾶς ἔσται ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ.

 

Something similar can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:24-25.  Obviously, no disciple is greater than his teacher.  The student or disciple of the teacher should become like his teacher.  However, Matthew also spoke about a servant or slave, who should be like his master or lord.  Then he went into the problem of Beelzebul and evil spirits.  Luke was more honed in on the teacher and disciple aspect.  The followers of Jesus were disciples of Jesus, their teacher or rabbi.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a disciple is not (οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς) above his teacher (ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον).  However, everyone who was fully qualified would be (κατηρτισμένος δὲ πᾶς ἔσται) like his teacher (ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ).  Jesus had the expectation that his fully trained disciples would be like him.  Do you know of any student better than his or her teacher?

 

The Scribes claim that Jesus was possessed by Beelzebul (Mk 3:22-3:22)

“The Scribes,

Who came down

From Jerusalem,

Said.

‘He has Beelzebul.

By the ruler

Of demons,

He casts out the demons.’”

 

καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει, καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.

 

This is similar to Luke, chapter 11:15 and Matthew, chapter 12:24.  Beelzebul was an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies,” but had become another name for the devil or demons in early Christianity and late Judaism.  Mark said that the Scribes came down from Jerusalem (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες), and not the Pharisees, as in Matthew.  They said (ἔλεγον) or accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Beelzebul.  He had Beelzebul in him (ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει).  Thus, as the leader or ruler of the demons (καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων), he was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια).  Jesus was working with the devil, the leader of the demons, the ancient Canaanite god, Beelzebul.

Fourth narrative

The fourth narrative section revealed the increasing opposition to Jesus.  Thus, his disciples had to prepare for his absence.  These instructions emphasized responsibility and humility.  Simon was renamed Peter, the rock upon which he was going to build his church, especially the mystery of the kingdom of heaven.

While Jesus was preaching in the various towns, John the Baptist was put in prison.  The disciples of John questioned Jesus and Jesus responded.  Jesus then asked questions about John.  Was John more than a prophet?  Then Matthew had a series of Old Testament scriptural quotations about John.  How great was John the Baptist?  Was John Elijah?

Jesus warned that this was a childish generation that was indifferent as they kept on eating and drinking, as if nothing important was happening.  Jesus was against the various Galilean cities and towns, especially Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  Jesus explained that there were hidden things from the wise ones, especially the relationship of the Father with the Son, but that the disciples had an easy yoke to bear.

Next came the question of eating on the Sabbath.  The Pharisees reacted against Jesus, but he used the example of David and the priests in the Temple to respond to them.  God was the Lord of the Sabbath.  Thus, when Jesus went into the synagogue, they asked him if he would heal anyone on the Sabbath?  Jesus compared sheep to human beings and then healed the man’s hand.  Thus, the Pharisees conspired against Jesus, while he took a low profile.

Jesus said that the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah was at hand in the servant of Yahweh.  Jesus cured the blind and mute man as the crowds were amazed.  However, the Pharisees compared Jesus to Beelzebul, the devil.  Jesus responded that a divided kingdom would not stand.  The Spirit of God was with Jesus.  The bandits tied up people before stealing from them.  You were either for or against Jesus.  They should be aware of the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Jesus then issued a series of sayings about a tree and its fruit.  He compared the Pharisees to a brood of vipers.  There could be good and bad treasures.  Words would either save or condemn them.

Jesus told them about the sign for this evil generation that was always seeking signs.  He was only going to give them the sign of Jonah.  Notice how the men of Nineveh reacted.  The Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon.  The unclean spirit would return with other evil spirits.  The relatives of Jesus, his mother and brothers showed up, but Jesus said that he had a new family.

Then Jesus spoke in parables siting in a boat by the sea.  There was the parable of the sower with his lost seeds, where only a few of the seeds fell on good soil.  His disciples wanted to know why he was speaking in parables, so that Jesus explained why he used parables.  Once again, he referred to a prophecy of Isaiah.  He explained about the seeds on the rocky ground and the seeds among the thorns.  Finally, he explained the meaning of the seeds on good ground or path since they were the blessed ones.

Then there was the parable about the weeds among the wheat.  The slaves let the weeds grow and then separated them at harvest time.  There were other parables about the mustard seed and the yeast.  Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, but he explained these parables to his disciples, especially the sower, the field, and the seeds.  He explained the enemy and the burning of the weeds.  The punishment for the weeds came at the harvest end times.  Thus, the reward for the righteous will be at the end times.

The kingdom of heaven was like a treasure, like pearls, and like a fishing net.  Jesus explained the parables because the disciples did not understand them.  They were like new and old treasures.

Jesus was an astonishment in his own home town.  They all knew the family of Jesus.  Thus, he was a prophet without honor in his own country.

Herod thought that Jesus was a resurrected John the Baptist, but he was afraid of John the Baptist.  At his birthday party, Herod granted the wish to have the head of John the Baptist on a platter.  Meanwhile, John the Baptist’s disciples buried him.

Jesus was worried as he was healing the sick people.  The disciples complained about the crowds, so that Jesus told them to give them something to eat.  However, they only had five loaves and two fish.  Then Jesus blessed the five loaves of bread and distributed them to the crowd.  There were even leftovers from this crowd of five thousand people.

The disciples left in a boat, so that Jesus prayed alone.  The boat was in the middle of the sea when Jesus walked on water to come to them.   Peter talked to Jesus and then attempted to walk on the water.  Jesus then saved Peter who recognized Jesus as the Son of God.  Then there were the healings at Gennesaret, where Jesus cured the sick.

The Pharisees from Jerusalem came to Jesus to ask him why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating.  Jesus responded by telling them to honor their parents since there was hypocrisy in their traditions.  He cited Isaiah about vain worship.  He told them to hear and understand.  They should watch what came out of their mouth rather than what went into their mouth as defilement.  The Pharisees were offended, but Jesus called them blind guides.  Peter wanted to understand more so that Jesus explained the mouth should speak from the heart.

Jesus went to the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon where he met a Canaanite woman.  He said that he was only going to the lost sheep of Israel, but this Canaanite woman persistently asked for help.  Jesus refused again saying that he could not feed the dogs.  However, she responded that dogs eat crumbs from the table.  Jesus said that she had great faith and healed her.

As Jesus healed the crowds of people in the mountain near the Sea of Galilee, he had compassion for them.  Where will they get food?  His disciples said that they had seven loaves.  Jesus then gave thanks over them and distributed the bread to four thousand men as there was a second multiplication of bread loaves.

Jesus went to Magadan.  There the Pharisees asked for a sign from heaven.  Once again, Jesus said that there are weather signs, but he would only give this evil generation the sign of Jonah.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, but Jesus warned them about the yeast of the Pharisees.  He reprimanded his disciples for their lack of faith as he reminded them about the multiplication of the loaves of bread.  They should be worried about the Pharisees not food.

What was the role of Peter?  Jesus asked about the Son of Man as the disciples responded.  Then Jesus asked them about himself.  Peter gave a very positive response, so that Jesus rewarded him.  The Messianic secret was tied to the future of Jesus in this conversation between Peter and Jesus.  He would have to take up his cross if wanted to save his life because the Son of Man in his kingdom would be coming soon.

Jesus took three of his apostles up a mountain where he was transfigured before them.  Moses and Elijah appeared with him.  Peter wanted to set up three tents for them.  A voice from the cloud came as the three apostles adored him.  Jesus asked them to be silent about this.  What was the role of Elijah and John the Baptist?

An epileptic man knelt before Jesus that his disciples were unable to heal.  Jesus then healed him, so that his disciples wondered why they were unable to heal this epileptic?  Jesus spoke about the future of the Son of Man.  Should they pay the Temple tax?  Jesus responded that the son of the king did not pay taxes, but he told Peter to pay them anyway.

Finally, we have the ecclesiastical discourse about who is the greatest.  A child is the greatest because when you welcome a little child, you welcome Jesus.  They were not to cause children to sin.  They were not to tempt people.  It would be better to be maimed and blind than suffer eternal fire.  They were not to despise the little ones.  Jesus explained the parable of the lost sheep and fraternal correction.  What were you to do with a sinning brother.  Let him become a gentile, if he does not listen.  Common prayer was important so that they should gather in his name.  How often should they forgive?  The response was the seventy times seven.

Then there was the parable of the unforgiving servant slave.  The master settled accounts with servant slaves.  One owed ten thousand talents, so that the king forgave him his debt.  However, this servant slave would not forgive the debt of his fellow slaves, who were angry.  Thus, this unforgiving slave was tortured.  This parable explanation was simple, forgive your brothers.