A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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a psychological experience of Jesus, natural enough at the opening of His career as the Messiah. Klausner128 has shown how such stories were commonly told about great Rabbis.
When the Scribes attributed Jesus' success in dealing with mental cases to a league with Beelzebub, or Beelzebul, the Prince of the demons, He deeply resented the charge and dismissed it as illogical. By the use of a simile He explained that if Satan were casting out His own minions he would be hastening his own destruction. (For a discussion of the complicated passage following this, see Manson.144) Jesus added that those who were accusing Him of collaboration with the Evil One would be in difficulties themselves when they tried to explain their own exorcisms. His own success He regarded, according to the records, as an indication of the approach of the Kingdom of God, and used, in this connection, the phrase, 'the finger of God' (Luke xi, 20. This is the true Q text, Matthew altering it to * Spirit of God '), this being symbolic of the might of the Kingdom of God. Flinders Petrie gives an interesting illustration of this passage and also of Exodus viii, 9, upon which it may have depended. He describes ' a wood carving of a finger, springing from a falcon's head. The head was the emblem of Ra and of Horus . . . such a symbol as a finger for divine action was familiar in Egypt. . . . No doubt the wooden finger . . . was used in ceremonial and magical acts by the priests/ Here Jesus regards Himself as the medium through which the power of God becomes operative. The contrast thus drawn between the action of Jesus and that of contemporary exorcists gave rise to many speculations both at that time and since. Celsus, a second-century philosopher who bitterly attacked the Christian religion, stated that Jesus worked as a labourer in Egypt and there learned