October 18 – Luke 11:14-28

Friday, October 18, 2013

Luke 11:14-28 – Jesus and Beelzebub

The crowd continued to follow Jesus on his journey. More than likely, it ebbed and flowed as he traveled through communities. However, there were Pharisees who stuck closely and were constantly on watch, waiting for him to do something wrong.

Luke tells us that Jesus drove out a mute demon. When he was gone, the man began to speak and just as they always were, the crowd was amazed. There were some, though, who accused Jesus of aligning himself with the devil. This accusation occurred more than once and we see it echoed in the other gospels. In John 8:48, the Jews say, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

After the accusation, others demanded a sign from heaven, by which he could redeem himself. It wasn't enough that he had driven out a demon, they wanted more … they wanted him to prove himself to them, to justify his actions for them. They were as bad as the devil at Jesus’ temptation.

He refused to acquiesce to their demands or their accusation. Instead, he appealed to their common sense. How can a house divided against itself remain standing?

Jesus’ comment about the devil returning to a clean home, finding it swept clean and bringing seven friends to live there is in response to an unspoken contention that Satan might have driven out a demon in order to trick the people into believing he was the Messiah.

Yes, the devil could remove a demon, but he could not replace it with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus tells his listeners that he drives out demons by the finger of God. In other words, it is of no effort. The right arm of God comes from Old Testament scripture and speaks of God’s power, but the finger is the smallest part of God’s arm. All Jesus must do is lift a finger and demons leave in haste. He has conquered Satan with nothing more than a single finger. God’s kingdom is here. God has won the battle. Satan can do nothing against the Messiah.

Now, rather than speaking of who is siding with Satan, Jesus turns the tables on his accusers. He has destroyed Satan’s hold on this world. He has overpowered the enemy and taken away the armor which protects him. Jesus Christ is the one with whom we should side. If we do not, then we are against him.