But the ·teachers of the law [scribes] from Jerusalem were saying, “·Beelzebul [C another name for Satan] is ·living inside [possessing] him! He uses power from the ·ruler [prince] of demons to ·force [drive; cast] demons out of people.”
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying that he was possessed by Beelzebub, and that he drove out devils because he was in league with the prince of devils. So Jesus called them to him and spoke to them in a parable—“How can Satan be the one who drives out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot last either. And if Satan leads a rebellion against Satan—his days are certainly numbered. No one can break into a strong man’s house and steal his property, without first tying up the strong man hand and foot. But if he did that, he could ransack the whole house.
The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that he was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power. Jesus confronted their slander with a story: “Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan? A constantly squabbling family disintegrates. If Satan were fighting Satan, there soon wouldn’t be any Satan left. Do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man, and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.
The scribes, for their part, came down from Jerusalem and spread the slander that Jesus was in league with the devil. Scribes: That’s how He casts out demons. He’s casting them out by the power of Beelzebul—the ancient Philistine god—the prince of demons.
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