Matching wits with Jesus is like….

In the Gospel reading from the Mass for today (Luke 11:14-23), Jesus demonstrates His powerful intellect by demolishing the faulty logic of those who sought to accuse Him of being the devil:

[14] Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marveled. [15] But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Be-el’zebul, the prince of demons”; [16] while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven. [17] But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. [18] And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el’zebul. [19] And if I cast out demons by Be-el’zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. [20] But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. [21] When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; [22] but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. [23] He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.

Jesus demonstrates the great power of His intellect as He schools His accusers:

  • Jesus has just cast out a demon, restoring a poor soul to spiritual health; and yet, some in the crowd are seeking a “sign from heaven.”
  • Some in the crowd accuse Jesus verbally of being under the power of Beelzebul; even at the time of Jesus, people had trouble accepting miracles.  Perhaps the people were just confused or unable to accept that God was in their very midst.  Whatever the case, they reach a confused conclusion:  Jesus is possessed by the devil.
  • Merciful (unlike Satan), Jesus does not condemn His accusers, but He gives them a tutorial in logic and a clear warning.
  • Christ starts by exposing with the inherent flaw in their logic:  Why would Satan drive out his own demons?
  • He then ups the ante, turning the tables on those who accuse Him:  You claim to drive out demons, are you possessed by Satan too?

Today there are many who seek to match wits with God, denigrating His Catholic Church or desecrating His Holy Scripture.  This is nothing new.

In the midst of the many attacks on the Body of Christ in today’s secular world, it is also reassuring that Our Lord Jesus Christ can handle even the most sophisticated attacks.

Kinda like matching wits with a very smart monkey.