Jesus with scribesIn today’s Gospel from the Mass (Mark 3:22-30), Jesus demonstrates His powerful communication skills by totally trashing the faulty logic of the Scribes:

[22] And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Be-el’zebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”  [23] And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?  [24] If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  [25] And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  [26] And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.  [27] But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.   [28] “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; [29] but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — [30] for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

What Jesus does in this passage is breath-taking:

  • The Scribes were used to being heeded; they were quite powerful and commanded respect.  They rarely, if ever, were challenged.  Especially by someone as non-pedigreed like the “backwaters” carpenter.
  • In contrast to the respect that the Scribes enjoyed, Jesus summons them, signaling to both Scribes and the crowds that Jesus is the one who is superior.
  • Instead of speaking with simple language, Jesus challenges them to engage by using parables, taking the position of a teacher who is teaching students.  Clearly, Jesus is in charge.
  • The scribes have accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Be-el’zebul, a derogatory term for Satan.
  • Jesus use of logic systematically demolishes the Scribes’ accusations, showing them to be both illogical and foolish.
  • While the Scribes probably didn’t know it, Jesus is pointing out to them that it is they who are actually in cooperation with Satan in their opposition to Jesus.
  • Even worse for the Scribes; Jesus is warning them that it is they who are guilty of blaspheme and face destruction.

Each time the enemies of Jesus challenge Him to a throw down, Jesus demolishes the most learned/arrogant with razor sharp logic, exposing their own faulty thought process.

I wouldn’t want to debate Jesus.  Would you?