Gospel Reflection for Monday – 3rd Week in Ordinary Time (23 January) – Jesus & the Prince of demons
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (3: 22-30) in which scribes came down from Jerusalem and were saying about Jesus, that ‘Beelzebul is in him!’ and ‘It is by the prince of devils that he is driving out demons’.
Fr Paul says, the fact that ‘scribes’ come down from Jerusalem indicates that the reputation of Jesus has already spread that far from Galilee; it is about a week’s journey.
The fact that the exorcisms of Jesus were attributed to the power of Beelzebul confirms that the scribes could not deny the fact of his extraordinary powers, and little distinction would be made between exorcisms and healings.
Fr Paul say as we hear in the Gospel, Jesus replies to the accusation with a series of ‘parables’, the first use of the word in Mark. In English this word is often used of a story with a meaning, but the Hebrew concept is wider. It certainly means a comparison, but also more widely any Wisdom saying or aphorism which demands careful thought and interpretation. In teaching about another world, the Kingdom of God, Jesus frequently uses such aphorisms; indeed, ‘he did not speak to them except in parables’ (Mark 4:34).
In closing, Fr Paul notes today’s Gospel Lesson: there is no doubt that Jesus had extraordinary powers.