Here, Jesus casts a demon out of an individual who was afflicted with the inability to communicate. “The spectators were astounded,” Luke writes of the moment the guy finally spoke. There were, however, many who opposed Jesus in attendance. According to some, Jesus exorcised demons via the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of devils, and that this was accomplished through the power of God (in other words, the devil). A sign from the heavens was expected of him by some. Keep in mind that no one was disputing that Jesus had in fact cast out a demon, which suggests that individuals in both parties believed that Jesus’ healing of the mute man was insufficient evidence of his legitimacy. Possibly, they all felt that Satan had given Jesus the authority to do what he did.
According to Jesus, however, the argument was too strong. Other exorcists who were aligned with Jesus’ adversaries, it appears, were also present in this scene. “If I send out the demons via Beelzebub, by what authority do your exorcists throw them out?” Jesus inquired. Essentially, the accuser’s argument is turned back on him in this instance, which is a classic tu quoque (“you also”) argument that has been used throughout history..
So, if exorcisms are performed by the power of Satan, does this not also include the exorcists who have been approved by Jesus’ adversaries, as Jesus was implying in his question? They would very certainly want to respond with anything other than, “Yes, they too are enabled by Beelzebub;” instead, they would almost certainly prefer to answer, “They operate by the might of the Lord.” It would logically follow, however, that one would wonder what the distinction is, and why Jesus’ work was not likewise accomplished via the might of God. The scribes and Pharisees would have a tough time responding to it.
A second argument, however, was presented by Jesus to demonstrate that his exorcisms could not have been motivated or empowered by the devil. ‘Every country divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on home,’ he explained. What would happen to Satan’s dominion if he is likewise split against himself? It cannot be accurate, in other words, that Jesus’ power was derived from the devil. What’s the harm in experimenting? The reason for this is that Jesus’ ministry was causing irreparable harm to the devil’s cause, and it would eventually inflict irreparable harm. In other words, if his opponents were accurate, then evil would be defeating itself, as Jesus was asserting.
For Jesus’ argument, the foundational idea that the kingdom of God had arrived and that he, Jesus, was the one who had brought it about served as a backdrop. There had been a seismic shift in history; with the coming of Jesus, everything had shifted. On the horizon was a clear victory against the devil. Because of this, Jesus may declare, “But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” “This is the finger of God!” they said, alluding to the storey of Moses and the gnat plague in Exodus 8, where despite their hidden skills, Pharaoh’s magicians were unable to duplicate Moses’ plague. Frustrated, they exclaimed, “This is the finger of God!
There appear to be just two options at this point. The fact that Jesus had just healed a mute man could not be denied. The finger of God or the might of Beelzebub was behind it, depending on how you look at it. So, which one did it happen to be. Neutrality does not exist in this situation.
A short allegorical story about a powerful and well-armed guy in a castle who puts his faith in his own strength but is ultimately defeated by an opponent who is much stronger was recounted by Jesus after that. As a result, his armor is rendered ineffective, and he loses all of his stuff. In this narrative, we learn about the reasons for the shift in the world order. Clearly, Beelzebub is the dominant figure in his palace. In addition, Jesus himself is an even more formidable adversary. That is to say, history has been altered as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection, which is currently on route to destroying the powers of death and evil.
Even while Jesus’ triumph is final, the adversary continues to battle, as we all know. Suffering, illness, poverty, violence, conflict, and injustice continue to be prevalent across the world today. The fact is that they have been defeated, and their collapse is likely in the near future. A severing of the devil’s hold on the earth has occurred.
Jesus makes a snappy observation at the end of our passage:“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” It’s worth noting, however, that in Mark 9:40, Jesus also states, “Whoever does not oppose us is for us.” As a result, what we have here is what is known as a perfect dis-junction in logic: he who is not with me is against me, and he who is not against me is for me. To put it another way, every single human being is either on board with Jesus or opposed to him. There is no such thing as a neutral stance once again.
Lots of people nowadays appear to be on the fence regarding Jesus, which is understandable. Some people say, “I like him,” since he was a great moral teacher, but “I’m not sure about this ‘Son of God’ thing,” others say. In other words, “Jesus was one of the greatest figures in human history, if not the best, but I have a difficult time accepting the notion that he was risen from the grave.” According to Jesus, however, there is no such stance as neutrality. So-called “neutral” individuals are hostile to Jesus’ cause, in the same way as Beelzebub, the scribes, and Pharisees, as well as Caiaphas, and as well as Judas Iscariot, were hostile.
However, we are looking at Jesus’ remark, Luke 11:20: “But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out devils, then the kingdom of God has arrived upon you.” The last two words in this sentence, “to you,” are important. When Jesus said that the kingdom of God is for us, he was referring to both his followers who were present with him on that day and us. The event is not a far-off occurrence in world politics, such as the collapse of a particular kingdom or the conclusion of a certain conflict, that will have no impact on us at all. This world and our lives are governed by the kingdom of God, which is the reign of God. Having God’s kingdom come into our lives has fundamentally altered our outlook on life.