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.

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