12th December 2016

Beelzebub

“Who was Beelzebub?”“Beelzebub” is the Greek form of the name “Baal-zebub,” a pagan Philistine god worshiped in the ancient Philistine city of Ekron during the Old Testament times. 2Kings1:2One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover.” It is a term signifying “the lord of flies” Even archaeological excavations at ancient Philistine sites have uncovered golden images of flies. It was later on that the Jews changed the name to Beelzeboul,” as used in the Greek New Testament, meaning “the lord of dung.” It referenced the god of the fly which was worshiped to obtain deliverance from the injuries of that insect. Some biblical scholars believe it was also known as “the god of filth” which later became a name of bitter scorn in the mouth of the Pharisees. As a result, he was a particularly contemptible deity and was used by the Jews as an epithet for Satan.The word has two parts: “Baal” which was the name for the Canaanite fertility gods in the Old Testament, and Zebul which meant “exalted dwelling,” which then became a name for Satan himself, the prince of demons. This term was first used by the Pharisees in describing Jesus, and when Jesus sent out the twelve Apostles, he was referring to that aligation.Matthew 10:24-25“Students* are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons,* the members of my household will be called by even worse names!.They had accused Jesus of casting “out the demons by the prince of the demons” Matthew 9:34, But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” referencingtoBeelzebul

Mark 3:22Andthe scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying,“He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”

Matthew 12:24.But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”In Matthew 12:22Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw..

Matthew 12:23-24 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,* the prince of demons.”

.It is remarkable that the Pharisees reacted to this incredible miracle by Jesus in a way which was the very opposite of that of the multitude who realized that Jesus was from God. In fact, it was an admission by the Pharisees that Jesus worked miracles or performed deeds beyond the reach of any unaided human power, but they attributed this power to Beelzebub instead of God. Actually, they should have known better: the devil cannot do works of pure goodness. However, in their way of thinking, their self-absorbed pride, these Pharisees knew that if the teachings of Jesus should prevail amongst the people, their influence over them was at an end. So, the miracle they did not deny, but instead attributed it to an infernal power, “Beelzebub the prince of the demons.”But the greater question that remains is this: what relevance does this have to us as Christians today? In Matthew 10, Jesus is providing us with the very essence of what it means to be His disciple. Here we learn that He is about to send out His apostles into the world to preach the gospel Matthew 10:7And proclaim as you go, saying,d‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.. He gives them specific instructions on what to do and what not to do. In doing so, He warns them: Matthew 10:17,22But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues.”. . .and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.The point Jesus is making to us today is that if people are calling Him Satan, as did the Pharisees of His time, they would surely call His disciples the same. In John 15:18-21Jesus declared: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me”

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