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Logic In The Gospels

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus' ministry depend more on logic than in the episode where He is accused of casting out demons with the power of beelzebub. Jesus is accused of being Himself possessed with a demon, and the scribes and pharisees are doing their utmost to discredit the ministry of Christ. The most full account of this episode is given in the gospel of Matthew, within which we find that the disciple introduces us to this occasion with prophecy indicating that the passage is deductive, rather than primarily prophetic.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Mat ch12:v14-21
Mat 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
Mat 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
Mat 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
Mat 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
Mat 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles.
Mat 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
Mat 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
Mat 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

The setting is such that Jesus has departed from the synagogue after healing the person with the withered hand, so Jesus is amongst a multitude elsewhere: Jesus has withdrawn so that He may eventually (but not yet) show Himself vindicated: He has not repudiated the pharisees for their attempts to trap Him, rather He chose to withdraw so that He will not press the "undecided" multitude into one camp or the other, the "smoking flax" etc, represents the indecision of the multitude - The withdrawal of Christ from the synagogue shows that Jesus will divide the multitude between those whom are for Him or those whom are against Him. The time for that however, is not yet.

At least, until Christ "sends forth judgement unto victory". The indecision of the multitude will lead to their eventual choice to follow Christ or not being solely determined upon sound judgement, and is not to be confused with the attacks of the pharisees: Jesus gathers on the basis of the truth of the gospel, not upon a match of punch and judy between Jesus and the pharisees and scribes.

So, we may expect the remainder of the passage to show an example of how Jesus deductively shows Himself to be Christ; but also He "in whom the gentiles will trust." What is then in view is that all Israel is not Israel, rather In Christ is Israel solely found, and not in the nation which is "determined by lineage".

We will expect Jesus to show through His teaching that Israel is not in good standing before God, and rather only Christ is in favour. (As in verse 18)

Mat 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
Mat 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Immediately in this new setting Jesus drives out an evil spirit and the pharisees begin to attempt to stir up the crowd against Jesus with the accusation that not only is Jesus Himslf possessed, but exorcises with the power of demons. Jesus then logically shows that the pharisees not only have this completely wrong, but that they are wrong about their standing before God as the chosen people.

We should note that the crowd is of the opinion that Jesus is the Christ - being the "Son of David" and that Christ is able to defend Himself before the crowd on that basis. He does not need to argue the point that He is Christ, rather He deduces before the multitude that the pharisees are not in good standing before God.


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