Matthew 12:22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?

The Pharisees didn't say "Beelzebul drives out Beelzebul". Why did Jesus claim they said "Satan drives out Satan"?

Obviously, Satan driving out Satan is self-destructive but the Pharisees didn't say that. The Pharisees only accused Jesus playing the pretentious game of Beelzebul ordering his own demons to leave in order to glorify himself. In fact, this is part of the strategy of Satan's end game as prophesied by Jesus himself in

Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

The logic here does not add up. What gives?

  • 1
    I don't understand the question. The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting demons out of possessed individuals (by the power of Satan). Thus they were saying that Satan is driving out demons whom he had (previously) installed. Seems perfectly logical to me. I cannot see any problem, here.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 20, 2020 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


In Matt 12:22-30, we have another instance, among the many that were accumulating, of the Jewish leadership attempting to gather evidence to accuse Jesus of something, anything, so as to neutralize His influence. That is, the leadership were jealous of Jesus teaching, miracles and following.

In Matt 12:22-30, after Jesus cures the demon-possessed man, the Jews try to belittle the spectacular miracle by suggesting that Jesus is Himself demon possessed or at least in league with the "prince of demons" (v24) to have such power over demons that harass people by demon possession.

Jesus, in V25-28 simply points out to the Jews that such an assertion is inconsistent with the facts and illogical. That is, Jesus cannot be curing people of demon possession by being in league with the prince of demons because that make Beelzebub (the prince of demons) work against himself.

The implication is immediate and obvious - Jesus was not either demon possessed nor in league with the prince of demons as the Jews suggested.

It was a characteristically brilliant reply by Jesus and that revealed their true motives: they did not care about the harassed man but really only wanted to accuse Jesus to lessen His influence.

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