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?

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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.

The divided kingdom (Mt 12:25-12:27)

“Jesus knew

What they were thinking.

He said to them.

‘Every kingdom divided

Against itself is

Laid waste.

No city

Or house divided against itself

Will stand.

If Satan casts out Satan,

He is divided against himself.

How then will his kingdom stand?

If I cast out demons

By Beelzebul,

By whom

Do your own sons

Cast them out?

Therefore,

They will be your judges.”

 

εἰδὼς δὲ τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πᾶσα βασιλεία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς ἐρημοῦται, καὶ πᾶσα πόλις ἢ οἰκία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς οὐ σταθήσεται.

καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς τὸν Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλει, ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν ἐμερίσθη· πῶς οὖν σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ;

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

 

There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:23-26, and Luke, chapter 11:17-19.  Jesus responded to the Pharisees with his house divided remarks.  Jesus knew what the inner thoughts of the Pharisees were (εἰδὼς δὲ τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν).  He said to them that every kingdom divided against itself would be destroyed (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πᾶσα βασιλεία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς ἐρημοῦται).  No city or house divided against itself could endure (καὶ πᾶσα πόλις ἢ οἰκία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς οὐ σταθήσεται.).  This was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) favorite biblical passages about slavery.  If Satan casts out Satan (καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς τὸν Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλει), then he was divided against himself (ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν ἐμερίσθη).  How can his kingdom last (πῶς οὖν σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ)?  If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul (καὶ εἰ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια,), how were their own sons or other exorcists able to cast out demons (οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν)?  Therefore, their own sons would be their judges (διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ κριταὶ ἔσονται ὑμῶν).  This was a very strong argument against Jesus and Beelzebul working together.