The 'Game' of Evil
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” (Matthew 12:24)
The coarse, arrogant and evil Pharisees had demanded a response from Jesus. He is less than warm towards their coercions. But, ever the opportunist He turned a time of false accusation into a time of true instruction.
Jesus knew He was confronted with evil and so taught about it. He refused to 'sugar-coat' the truth of evil and its destructive outcomes.
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first..." (Matthew 12:43-45)
To dismiss evil is both foolhardy and cavalier.
To deny demons is to be haughty, simple-minded and presumptuous.
The presence of evil/demons is either within or around all.
Jesus did not withhold this strident truth when He cautioned about the realities of life.
As the Pharisees multiplied their malevolence Jesus explained that evil too seeks multiplication. This is the game evil enters with each temptation. For, evil's thirst is for ever more multiplication.
Repentance removes evil, but to sin again invites its return.
Evil searches in all lives to grow its presence, but especially in the lives of a believer. (Don't forget an unbeliever already belongs to satan.)
Hence Jesus pleads for all to:
- forgive their enemies,
- repent of sin, and
- return good for evil.
Evil invites its victim to respond to:
- malevolence with bitterness,
- injustice with vengeance, and
- insult with abuse.
Each time evil's invitation is accepted the victim repeats it, and so evil grows ever stronger. The outcome must be - the second state is forced to be worse than the first.
Evil has truly lost when it is not repeated.
Today's Soul Snippet:
"The power of the Cross can reach past failure." ~ Wayne Jacobsen
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Read more about the work of evil in Making Sense of Suffering