How can Satan cast out Satan?

Jesus’ family are concerned for him. He has left his home and his job to become a wandering rabbi and now he is surrounded by the poor, the sick and the outcasts. They are worried about his welfare and perhaps afraid that he is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Will his ministry get him into trouble with the authorities?

The scribes who have come down from Jerusalem to Galilee are worried for a different reason. They can’t deny that Jesus has power – he is healing the sick and casting out demons. But he challenges their teaching and their authority. The scribes conclude that Jesus must be working with Beelzebul, the prince of devils. Jesus points out that this is nonsense – how can Satan cast out Satan?

Jesus often challenges and disturbs us. His teaching can make us uncomfortable and so we look for reasons to reject its demands. Adam and Eve hid from God after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, and we are tempted to hide from God when we know we have sinned. Jesus asks us to put our trust in him and in the power of the Holy Spirit – even when he makes us uncomfortable. 

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