According to Josephus (Jewish historian), Jews were able to cast out demons in the name of Solomon. I didn’t know that.
So when Jesus asked, “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.” (Matthew 12:27 ESV), they could have said by Solomon.
OK, before I lose all of you, let me explain.
Today, I was reading Matthew 12 and became intrigued by two questions. Could, and can people cast out demons without Jesus? And, is Jesus referring to demons cast out by other means or demons cast out by any means when he talks about them returning to the person and making him worse?
Yeah, that’s how I spend my free time…
Sounds intellectual (or just weird) but there is a burning question that is at the bottom of it all.
Can I be free?
Demons can refer to literal spiritual entities or addictions, habits or mental predispositions that govern our behavior. And I want to know if we can ever be really free.
If there is another way to freedom than the name of Jesus and, by association, His cross, then it might be good to pursue it. Jesus wants all of me and the cross is just painful. And if, even through Jesus, those demons might return to us, what is our hope?
I have only read bits of Josephus. I am no intellectual giant or prophet or philosopher. But I hear Peter when he faced the Jews.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 ESV
Nothing else can save us. What are we being saved from? Saved from death. Saved from fear. Saved from slavery.
Saved sounds like free to me. The only freedom I’ve ever known is through Him.
The same answer applies to all these questions.
Only through Jesus can anyone be set free and only by remaining in Him, and being filled up by Him, can we remain free. Psychology, religion, drugs, meditation, positive self talk can all be useful tools, but the demons will return.
But not to a life surrendered to Him.
Not to a heart and mind and soul that is surrendered to Him!