Jesus the Logician Project: Matthew 12:22-29

In this passage, Jesus uses the Socrates method of elenchus by questioning the Pharisees and showing that their own beliefs are contradictory, and thus proving that they do not have knowledge in an area they thought they did.

Jesus healed a blind, mute, demon-possessed man (yeah, I know what else could go wrong). The crowds started to wonder if Jesus was the Messiah. The Pharisees, of course, could not have this, so they accused Jesus of casting out demons by “Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” (Matthew 12:24 NASB)

Jesus answered them simply that a kingdom divided against itself could not stand, therefore reasoning would follow that Jesus could not possible be casting out demons by the ruler of demons.

Having already illustrated the illogical nature of their reasoning, he began to question them on their supposed knowledge. He also finished carrying the train of thought to its conclusion. “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matt 12:28 NASB)

He turned their denial of His deity into an affirmation of who He was, using simple logic.

This is my second contribution to Evangelical Outpost’s Jesus the Logician Project.

Update: The phrase “Jesus uses the the Socrates method of elenchus…” is not meant to infer that Jesus got His reasoning from Socrates, only that elenchus is generally attributed to Socrates. My wording was done for clarity’s sake (looks like I failed there). I apologize if anyone takes this to mean that Jesus was not the originator of His logic. Being the Creator of all things, He is the creator of logic and all logical devices.

5 Comments

  1. You stated:
    “Jesus uses the Socrates method of elenchus by questioning the Pharisees”

    I find it strange that one would ascribe the reasoning of the One who holds all of creation together with His will and who had a hand in the creation of it, to one of His creations, namely, Socrates.

    just my $0.02

    thane

  2. Very much agreed. I debated on how to phrase that. The way I worded it was the best way I could come up with. The elenchus method is attributed to Socrates so for clarity reasons I phrased it that way. But I totally agree with you that the method and all logic come from the Creator (Jesus).

  3. Thanks for the reply. My post was not meant as a slam. I realize that we need something to mentally “grab ahold of” and your wording does that. It just struck me as ironic.

    The logician project has merit, yet it is bound by the limits of our mind and our inability to understand how the all-knowing God thinks.

    thane

  4. I didn’t take it really as criticism, maybe constructive criticism. 🙂 Seriously, I am glad you brought it up because I had the debate within my head when I was writing it. So now hopefully no one will be confused by what I wrote.

    I wish we were able to communicate in a complete way the wisdom of God, but God for some reasons enjoys using our foolishness and weakness to show His wisdom and His strength.

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Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.