14 One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed,15 but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,[a] the prince of demons.”16 Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
17 He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.18 You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive?19 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said.20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God,[b] then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.21 For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—22 until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.
23 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
24 “When an evil[c] spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order.26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”
27 As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”
28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
The Sign of Jonah
29 As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah.30 What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man[d] will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God.
31 “The queen of Sheba[e] will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.32 The people of Nineveh will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.
11:15Greek Beelzeboul; also in 11:18, 19. Other manuscripts read Beezeboul; Latin version reads Beelzebub.
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