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Summary: Our Lord gives a simple explanation on the purpose of a candle. It is a light giver; its purpose is to transmit light. The resurrection of Christ is the light that this world needs.

Judea

Lesson: Accused of Connection with Beelzebub

Luke 11:14-36

This incident is also recorded in Matthew 12:24-30 and Mark 3:22-30. From this account has come the notion of the so-called unpardonable sin.

(Luke 11:14-15) And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

We are told here that a demonic was brought to Jesus, who cured him instantly and completely, so that the man, who had been terribly afflicted, was now no longer demon-possessed. Also, he was able to talk. It is not surprising that the crowd that witnessed this miracle was astonished.

The convincing nature of Jesus’ miracles forced the Pharisees to come up with some explanation for them. They could not deny the existence of miracles when they were happening before their eyes. They resorted to the vilest and most blasphemous explanation for the miracles of Jesus. They did not deny that they took place but claimed that they were done by the power of the Beelzebub. Beelzebub is the name given to the prince of demons, Satan. The name probably originated from “Baalzebub” (lit. “lord of the flies” or “lord of dung”). Over in Matthew, it says that this poor man had lost not only the ability to speak but also to see. Luke does not say who it was that attacked Jesus, but Matthew calls them Pharisees and Mark mentions scribes. It is believed that the enemies of Jesus were sent by the Sanhedrin, when it became clear to them that Jesus was able to expel demons and do many other works of power. Where did He get this power? They had no explanation to offer, therefore they resorted to ridicule and said that His power came from the Devil.

(Luke 11:16-19) And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

These so-called religious men said, “Not God, but the Devil has given Jesus power to cast out demons.” Marks account adds even a second charge, namely, “He has Beelzebub,” That is, “He is possessed by Beelzebub, Satan.” This wicked accusation was equivalent to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Jn 12:10). Jesus performed His ministry through the power of the Holy Spirit, and this should have been evident to all who were unbiased. Jesus used a piece of logic, however, to clear up the situation, noting that if Satan cast out his own demons, then he would be divided against himself, an unimaginable state of affairs.

They demanded another miracle by Jesus, as if the double miracle would be sufficient evidence to answer some of the people who asked, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Matt. 12:23). Jesus knew what the true motives of these men were because He is God, and He knows all about us. What did they want Jesus to do? They wanted Him to cause fire to come down from heaven. They refused to accept that God’s great Sign was standing in their very midst, so they asked for a sign. In fact, they were always looking for signs (1 Cor. 1:22)…and wondering how to destroy the sign by God sent down from heaven to earth. Jesus’ answer to their demand is found in verses 29-32.

(Luke 11:20) But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

The very fact that the envoys of Satan, God’s archenemy, are being expelled proves that it is by God’s finger; that they are being driven out by the power of God. It proves that God’s kingdom has reached them and is revealing itself in works of power and mercy.

“The kingdom of God is come upon you” means that it was among them in the presence of the person of Jesus who had the credentials of the King.

(John 11:21-23) When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

The “strong man armed” is Satan. The demon-possessed man was evidence of his power. But, you see, Jesus is stronger than Satan, which is the reason He could cast out the demon. After the strong man conquers He distributes the goods which were formally Satan’s; the spoils. The spoils become gifts to men. A good illustration is found in Luke 8:38-39. That passage is about a man who had been demon-possessed. It reads as follows: “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.” That man previously numbered among Satan’s “goods,” became one of the gifts distributed by Christ.

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