But I only stole a pencil! Thursday,3rd Week of Lent – Luke 11: 14-23
Hate is a very, very dangerous and extreme emotion. It is accompanied by a feeling of anger and hostility. One can quell anger, but quelling hate can be like scaling Mount Everest. Allowed to breed, hate grows rapidly, spreading its cancerous cells, infecting the mind and ravaging the body with evil. It finally infects the brain to even believe that God is the devil! That’s what the Jews called Jesus.
The Jews found the oldest trick in the book to attack Jesus. When you can’t attack a man on facts, simply get ‘ad hominem’ (Latin for, ‘to the man’ or personal attack). ‘So because the Jews could not attack the FACT of the exorcism, they attacked the SOURCE of Jesus’ power and also those who followed His way (JBC).’ For them, the source of His power was Beelzebul.
So who is this ‘prince of devils’ that is allegedly, for the Jews, the source of Jesus’ power? Beelzebul simply means ‘Lord of Heaven’ and was the Canaanite god of the Philistine city of Ekron. We find mention of his name in 2 Kings 1:2, when the king of Israel was injured and wanted to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether he would recover.
Jesus answers the Jews with simple common sense. If He, Jesus, has His power from satan, then why would satan want to heal someone? Why would he want to do good when that’s not his nature? It would be a divided house. So just to prove a point, He confronts His detractors with a simple argument. Assuming the Jewish exorcists were successful in their exorcism, then did they also get their power from Beelzebul and if so, why did the Jews not protest as much as they seem to be doing now?
Their hypocrisy being exposed and inconsistencies being laid bare, Jesus asserts that God is behind the exorcism. Then as if to leave them red faced He uses a very familiar phrase ‘the finger of God’. The grey cells would have kicked in, for the term ‘finger of God’, goes back to Exodus 8:19, where the Egyptian magicians recognized God’s power through Moses. If a foreign magician could recognize God’s power, what was really wrong with these Jews? That recollection itself, would have sent them scurrying to their Pharisaic holes.
The Lord wants us to confront sin in our life. Too often we dance with the devil just because it’s convenient. We hope God won’t mind our minor transgressions. But He does! Stealing a pencil does not make stealing a hundred thousand rupees any less sinful. To the human mind, stealing a pencil is so insignificant and inconsequential over the more condemnatory hundred thousand theft. And how could THEY STEAL SO MUCH! But hey, we stole too, even if it’s a pencil; for that to God, IS A SIN. A sin is a sin, dancing with the devil is a dance with the devil, even if it is a few flippant jive steps and not the more robust tango!
Jesus wants to be the STRONGER man of our lives (verse 22) who wants to take away the armour of satan. It is satan who referred to in verse 21. It is he who is guarding our castle, because he has taken over our lives, it is he who guards our lost souls ‘zealously’, it is he who thinks’ his property is safe. Then Jesus died for us and won the castle back.
For many, the futile death of Jesus on Good Friday could have been avoided. Why did He have to go after the Pharisees? He should have compromised a little; that’s the way of the word. But we who fly the flag of victory over the castle of our heart on the morn of Easter Sunday know better. You don’t dance with the devil; not now, not ever! For on Easter morn, satan was crushed, death lost its sting; and though weeping may tarry through the night, joy comes in the morning.
Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit
Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted on whatsap on +91- 9820242151.
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