Matthew 12:22-29: 22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.
“Apologetics” is a discipline in religion today in which we defend our faith in a reasonable way. It has nothing to do with apologizing for what we believe. Jesus uses apologetics to answer the accusation of the Pharisees that he was driving out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.” Jesus answered them by saying, “That doesn’t even make sense, because then Satan would be working against himself.”
Sometimes we have to do the same thing. Someone may accuse you of being an unloving bigot because you believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. A reasonable defense would be to say, “Well, if it is true that Jesus is the only way to heaven, wouldn’t it be an unloving thing to do to say that he is not? I’d love the opportunity to show you why I believe this.”
Apologetics is not helpful if we just want to win an argument. It is helpful if we can bring the conversation back to faith and back to Jesus. That’s what Jesus did in the words above, when he said, “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” We win, not when we win an argument, but when we get a chance to teach more about Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, in the world today we are always having to defend what we believe. First, make me more rooted and grounded in the Scriptures every day so that my faith remains strong. Second, teach me the art of turning every conversation into an opportunity to tell someone about you. I ask this in your name. Amen.