THE WEEK OF OCULI – MONDAY
LESSON: COLOSSIANS 4:2-6
But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Be-elzebul, the prince of demons” […] But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and house falls upon house. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-elzebul.” Luke 11:15,17,18
What did these slanderers reply to this clear logic of Jesus? Their mouth was stopped, and their heart was hardened so that they put forward no more questions. For a hardened heart is no longer open to instruction, no matter how brightly and clearly the truth is set forth. But the faith of the godly is strengthened hereby when they see that the ground for their faith is true and good.
For the sake of the godly, answers must at times be given to those who are hardened, and their mouths stopped. Even though they are not converted or silenced, it serves a good purpose to have their stubborn folly revealed, showing that the longer they speak the more their folly increases.
From this it also can be deduced that their cause does not even have the appearance of being good and true, as Solomon also says, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:5). His meaning is to shame, for the sake of others, so that they do not follow him and are not deceived by him, as though he were in the right.
Otherwise, where there is no such special reason, it is better to be silent, as Solomon says in the same context, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself” (Proverbs 26:4).
PRAYER: O Lord, give us at all times the courage to speak out boldly for the sake of others and wisdom to be silent lest we increase the folly of others by our speaking. Amen.