Thoughts on Lent 3 and the Beelzebul Controversy
Each of the Synoptics has its own version of the Beelzebul controversy. But Luke's version breaks pattern and for a reason. Luke is taking great pains to demonstrate, prove perhaps, that Jesus is the promised prophet like Moses. To Him they should listen, continually keeping and hearing His Word by gathering together with Him where He promised to be.
Here's some notes on what sticks out:
- Luke 11:16--the Jews ask Jesus for a sign to test Him
- Luke changes the reference in 11:20 from "the Spirit of God" to "the finger of God" make a clear reference to the OT text appointed for this Sunday, Exod 8:19
- Luke excludes the saying about blaspheming the Holy Spirit but includes the saying about continually gathering together with Him and hearing and keeping His Word. Taking what is in Matthew and Mark in the negative and putting it in the positive.
- Luke changes the parable of strong man from one of stealing to that of a battle and victory over a strong lord.
Jesus flips the question on its head. My work is the work of the finger of God. And the real question isn't whether I'm with you or against you. The real question is this: Will YOU gather together in the place where I am and will YOU continually listen to my voice, hear and keep my word. I AM with you. But will YOU be where I am?