By Rev. Eric Brown
But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.(Luke 11:15-16)
They just wanted to ignore Jesus. That was all. They didn't want to have to listen to what He was preaching. So, they came up with an excuse. When Jesus cast out a demon, they claimed he cast out that demon by Beelzebul. And then Jesus proceeds to explain to them in great detail why that excuse is an utterly foolish excuse.
Here's where I could point at these folks and mock them for their foolishness, but the simple truth is I've heard worse excuses. I've heard ones less logical, more nonsensical. And not from others. I'm talking about the excuses my own sinful heart throws out in front of me over and over again. And I'm sure you know the excuses your heart likes to toss out.
You know how foolish and stupid “He casts out demons by Beelzebul” is? Well, our excuses, especially the ones we cherish and cling to, are far, far more foolish. The ability we have to rationalize our sin or self-justify our wretched behavior, all while ignoring the Word of God is astonishing.
And yet, what does Jesus do for these foolish excuse makers in the text? He doesn't write them off. He doesn't mock them (as I'd be tempted to do). He still goes to them and speaks to them again. He shows them their sin, but then proclaims their Savior. The Finger of God that gives life and salvation has come upon you, even you who come up with foolish excuses to avoid this.
This is why, over and over, Jesus brings His Word to you. This is why over and over He has His servants preach to you and give you His Body and Blood in the Supper. Your folly doesn't make Him despise you; rather He comes to you again, for you are His blessed brother or sister, joined to Him in the waters of Baptism. He brings you the Word of God again and again. Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word!
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.
Created: March 13th, 2017