Jesus does an extraordinary miracle and the people marvel. But some come back to this miracle questioning how it is that Jesus accomplished it. “By the prince of demons he cast out demons.” This line of logic has often been used to dismiss the work of God, or to pour scorn on those who do God’s work. If someone does not like the person who is being fruitful or having a dramatic ministry, they will sometimes find an evil or malevolent reason for their effectiveness. There is the demonic. There is something manipulative or psychologically wrong at work.
This is the kind of thing that was being said against Jesus.
Jesus understands the lack of logic in this attack and brings that lack of logic into the forefront of the conversation. “Every kingdom divided against itself falls.”
In other words, to suggest that it is by demons that Jesus casts out demons is not really possible, as that would imply that there was civil way in the demonic empire.
Instead, what is going on is that Jesus—as the “stronger” one (11:22)—is defeating the demons. He is casting out demons because he is the Lord God himself in human flesh, and therefore able to defeat Satan.
Jesus then concludes by criticizing those who are against him (11:23). If you’re not with him, you’re against him.
We are then to be glad that we worship the One, Jesus Christ, who has power to defeat the devil.
At his name demons flee.
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