Jeremiah 7:23-28 / Luke 11:14-23
People misjudge Jesus
“He drives out devils by Beelzebul. ”
As a hobby, an elderly couple raised vegetables and kept chickens. Since they were frugal, they weren't hurting financially.
Yet whenever someone came to them to buy fresh vegetables or fresh eggs, the couple always charged the full market price. They gave no discount, not even to their closest friends and neighbors. This earned them the reputation, among some people, of being miserly. Later it was discovered that the couple gave all the proceeds from the sale of the vegetables and eggs to two poor families living nearby.
Do we sometimes tend to jump to conclusions about the actions and motives of other people?
“He who judges others condemns himself.” English proverb (ML)
When orders and instructions are given by a superior, it is presumed that it will be obeyed and carried out. Not to obey orders and instructions will result in consequences that will be not be favourable for the subordinate. And of course, the higher and greater the authority, the less negotiable will be the obedience on the part of the subordinate.
In the gospel, when Jesus expelled the devil from the possessed man, the devil stood no chance against Jesus. There is no question of defying the orders of Jesus or not doing as He ordered. The devil just had to obey.
So the devil was not a problem for Jesus. But the problem for Jesus was the people. Though they were amazed, some of them said that it was through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that He casts out devils.
But the real problem was highlighted in the 1st reading when the Lord God said, "Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Follow right to the end the way that I marked out for you, and you will prosper. But they did not listen, they did not pay attention, they followed the dictates of their own evil hearts."
So while the devil could not disobey the orders of God, he now tempts us to disobey God. Let us not be foolish and fall into the temptations of the devil. Lent is the time to renew our stand against the devil and to fight off his temptations to go against God
Let us also pledge our obedience to Jesus and follow Him through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Also the consequences of disobedience are very difficult to bear. (SY)