Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.
But some of the people said, ‘It’s by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that he’s driving out demons.’ Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I’m saying this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they’ll be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
‘When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armour in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
‘Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
‘When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest but doesn’t find it. Then it says, “I’ll go back to the house that I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they all go in and live there. So the final condition of that person is worse than the first.’
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd shouted out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you!’
He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’