Jesus was driving out a demon. The man who had the demon could not speak. When the demon left, the man began to speak. The crowd was amazed.
But some of them said, "Jesus is driving out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons."
Others put Jesus to the test by asking for a miraculous sign from heaven.
Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he said to them, "Any kingdom that fights against itself will be destroyed. A family that is divided against itself will fall.
If Satan fights against himself, how can his kingdom stand? "I say this because of what you claim. You say I drive out demons by the power of Beelzebub.
Suppose I do drive out demons with Beelzebub's help. With whose help do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.
But suppose I drive out demons with the help of God's powerful finger. Then God's kingdom has come to you.
"When a strong man is completely armed and guards his house, what he owns is safe.
But when someone stronger attacks, he is overpowered. The attacker takes away the armor the man had trusted in. Then he divides up what he has stolen.
"Anyone who is not with me is against me. Anyone who does not gather sheep with me scatters them.
"What happens when an evil spirit comes out of a man? It goes through dry areas looking for a place to rest. But it doesn't find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.'
When it arrives there, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.
Then the evil spirit goes and takes seven other spirits more evil than itself. They go in and live there. That man is worse off than before."
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out. She shouted, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
He replied, "Instead, blessed are those who hear God's word and obey it."