And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Be-el’zebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”  And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?  If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.  But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.  “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;  but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” —  for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
What Jesus does in this passage is breath-taking:
- The Scribes were used to being heeded; they were quite powerful and commanded respect. They rarely, if ever, were challenged. Especially by someone as non-pedigreed like the “backwaters” carpenter.
- In contrast to the respect that the Scribes enjoyed, Jesus summons them, signaling to both Scribes and the crowds that Jesus is the one who is superior.
- Instead of speaking with simple language, Jesus challenges them to engage by using parables, taking the position of a teacher who is teaching students. Clearly, Jesus is in charge.
- The scribes have accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Be-el’zebul, a derogatory term for Satan.
- Jesus use of logic systematically demolishes the Scribes’ accusations, showing them to be both illogical and foolish.
- While the Scribes probably didn’t know it, Jesus is pointing out to them that it is they who are actually in cooperation with Satan in their opposition to Jesus.
- Even worse for the Scribes; Jesus is warning them that it is they who are guilty of blaspheme and face destruction.
Each time the enemies of Jesus challenge Him to a throw down, Jesus demolishes the most learned/arrogant with razor sharp logic, exposing their own faulty thought process.
I wouldn’t want to debate Jesus. Would you?