THURSDAY, MAY 16
SCRIPTURE: Luke 11:14-26
By: Josh Boles
Today’s portion of Luke 11 is a very interesting chapter, but has a very important truth. Verse 14 opens up with a short, but powerful story. Jesus casts out a demon that was responsible for a man’s muteness. Jesus drives out the demon, it leaves, and the people are amazed. This is important information to set up the powerful theological truth. Demons are real, they sometimes afflict people, but Jesus rules over demons and casts them out.
We first read that the crowds were amazed, but then categorized themselves into two negative groups. The first group were the slanderers in verse 15. They accused Jesus of driving out demons but the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons. The second group is in 16 who were the skeptics. They asked for a sign from heaven that Jesus was the real deal.
The first thing we see in verse 17-19 is that Jesus gives the crowd a very theological sound argument. Jesus says that, “No group will last long if they are fighting themselves.” Jesus was not talking about the group being divided but was making a point on his authority to cast our demons. Jesus is basically saying that it would not make sense for a satanic power to drive out a device of satanic torture. Why would Beelzebul fight Beelzebul? Verse 19 most likely refers to other Jewish exorcisms at the time. If this is true, Jesus is calling them out on their own hypocrisy.
The next truth that we see is the fact that the Kingdom of God is upon us. Jesus strikes down their wrong presuppositions, and establishes His authority in verse 20. Jesus does this by discussing the “finger of God.” This phrase is so important. Jesus is telling the crowds that this was not witchcraft, or trickery. It is the very hand of God that drives out demons. The very same hand that struck Egypt with plagues. If you remember that story, Moses brought about the plagues, and pharos magicians tried to recreate it. When they failed, Moses told them, “This is the finger of God.” This is Jesus referring to His direct power He receives from God.
In verse 21-22 Jesus gives an analogy of a strong man guarding his own goods only to be overthrown by a stronger force. A divided kingdom cannot stand as we read in 17-19, so a new and more powerful kingdom will take its place. This is what Jesus has come to do. To take away from the spoils of the kingdom of Satan by reclaiming us to His kingdom. Some in the crowd could not see this, and they missed the kingdom of God.
Jesus continues this thought in 23-26. In verse 23 Jesus Himself divides the group into two kingdoms. There are those that are for Jesus, and those that are against Jesus. There is no in-between, or beyond. Then, in 24-26 Jesus warns the people not to be recaptured by Satan’s kingdom.
There are only two sides to spiritual warfare, those who are for Him or those who are against Him. The two opposing sides are not those who believe, and those who do not believe. The book of James tells us that, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” So the only way to be on Jesus’ side is to join Jesus in His work. This means that we do not simply affirm that Jesus is Lord, but devote our entire lives in servanthood to Him and His bride, the Church. This certainly does not mean that good works grant us access to salvation and eternal life. Faith in Jesus is the only way to eternal life. The point is, our faith in Jesus equips, empowers, and compels us to fight these spiritual battles.
There is a response for all of us in here to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Are you involved in the ministry of the Church? Are you involved in the ministry of taking away the spoils of the Kingdom of Satan, bringing lost should to Jesus? If you are not, this is your chance to do so. Get involved, and carry the hope of salvation everywhere you go.