Summary: Jesus & Beelzebub. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: chapter 11 verses 14-36
Dedicated on March 13th 1904 a large statue of Christ;
• Was erected high in the Andes on the border between Argentina and Chile.
• It is called “Christ of the Andes,”
• The statue symbolizes a pledge between the 2 countries that as long as the statue stands,
• There will be peace between Chile and Argentina.
• Shortly after the statue was erected, the Chileans began to protest;
• They claimed that they had been slighted because the statue had its back turned to Chile.
• Just when tempers were at their highest in Chile,
• A Chilean newspaperman saved the day.
• In an editorial that not only satisfied the people but made them laugh, he simply said,
• “The people of Argentina need more watching over than the Chileans”.
• When an argument threatened to destroy the peace of two nations;
• A wise Chilean newspaperman saved the day.
Our passage this evening:
• Starts with a healing,
• Jesus was drove out a demon that caused the man to be mute.
• Note: this does not mean that every person who is mute has a demon;
• It simply means that the way the demonic spirit affected the man was by making him mute.
• When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke,
• And the crowd was amazed.
• But instead of rejoicing with the man who has been set free;
• The healing is soon put to one side.
• And an argument regarding how the healing was done takes centre stage.
• The source, the root, the power of the healing is the main agenda in these verses.
(1). Slander (vs 14-28)
• When the enemies of Jesus were unable to oppose him by fair means;
• They resorted to unfair means – slander!
• In the 18oo’s William Ewart Gladstone was a British Liberal Party statesman;
• And four times Prime Minister;
• Gladstone is also famous for his intense rivalry with the Conservative Party Leader Benjamin Disraeli.
• The rivalry was not only political, but also personal.
• e.g. Gladstone's nickname was GOM (which stood for ‘Grand Old Man’,),
• Disraeli publicly said it really stood for "God's Only Mistake".
• When Gladstone was interested in the reformation of prostitutes;
• His opponents said he was interested in them for very different reasons!
• Unable to oppose Gladstone by fair means;
• His opponents resorted to unfair means – slander!
Accusation (vs 14-16).
14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons." 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
Verse 15: “The some of them said”:
• These people are identified for us by Matthew and Mark in their gospels,
• They are the Pharisees and scribes, the opponents to the ministry of Jesus.
• They responded to this exorcism by Jesus;
• By claiming that it was accomplished by the power of the devil.
So, this exorcism – this miraculous act of mercy:
• Cause two very different reactions:
• Amazement from the crowd,
• And accusation from the religious leaders.
• Who claim that it was accomplished by the power of Beelzebub.
Question: Who or what is Beelzebub?
• Beelzebub was one of the names of the Philistine God Baal.
• We read about him in 2 Kings chapter 1 verses 1-3.
• The name Beelzebub,
• Means anything from ‘Lord of the Flies’ or ‘Lord of Dung’.
• A variant is Beelzebul, which means ‘Lord of the dwelling’.
• This meaning ties in with the illustration Jesus would later use in verses 18-26.
• To the Jewish people of Jesus day;
• The name Beelzebub was another name for Satan.
These religious leaders could and should have been rejoicing with the healed man:
• But instead they use the incident to condemn Jesus;
• They have already decided to condemn him despite the evidence before them.
• A tribe in the jungle were all falling sick;
• A missionary doctor went into the village to try and help them.
• He suspected and soon discovered;
• That it was the contaminated water they were drinking that caused their sickness.
• To show the natives the missionary set up a table in the village;
• Then using a microscope he showed them the contamination that was in the water.
• Later that night when the village was quiet;
• And everyone appeared to be a sleep in bed.
• Somebody broke into the missionaries offices and smashed the microscope;
• For them no microscope no problem!