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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jesus and Beelzebul: The healing of a demoniac.

Narrator: Anya, a Jewish peasant woman of the time of Jesus.
Story N. 6 (see previous posts)

If one stares long enough at that line where the sea blends with the horizon, one will lose his borders and expand into the infinity. Following Jesus, Anya has traveled day after day along the sea and has become unbounded. At night the moon reverberates in a straight path on the sea surface, breaking into thousands of silvery splinters. The disciples build a fire and rest, listening to Jesus’ teachings. Anya is one of them at last. Her mind is clear, there are no more shadows. She’s like the stretch of sand that covers the dry land and then slides under water: Jesus’ words are the waves that lap her soul.

Many are falling under his spell. As he walks across Galilee, people accompany him from town to town. Tonight he’s teaching in the synagogue, where a large crowd has gathered to see him. The most spectacular sunset shines as a background to the columns. The sun has already disappeared behind the roofs, torches have been lit and the sky is as luminous as their fires, streaked in orange and gold. Jesus’ soothing voice seems to come from above. No one has ever heard anything so beautiful. But suddenly a cry breaks the harmony of the moment.
“Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
A man is pushing his way through the crowd. He’s grimacing with pain, groaning and swearing. Anya shivers with fear: He’s possessed by demons! Stretching his hands towards him, Jesus orders:
“Be quiet!”
The man crouches down in front of him, howling and muttering sinister curses.
“Come out of him!” Jesus commands.

The demoniac falls at his feet and remains still, his eyes closed. The crowd held their breath, until the man slowly gets up and looks around, astonished. The demon has left him. He’s free.

As people cry in wonder, one of the scribes who have come from Jerusalem points his finger at Jesus and shouts:
“He’s possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he drives out demons!”
Jesus turns around slowly, his gaze running on the crowds.
“How can Satan drive out Satan?” he asks quietly. “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. Amen, I say to you, it is by the Spirit that I drive out demons. All sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.”

Shaken, Anya steps in front of him, as if shielding him. For the first time someone has openly turned against Jesus. The peace she was hoping to find when she followed him has become only a pious dream. There is going to be war, she can see that now. But Jesus is the awaited Messiah. He will win.

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