Luke 11: 14 – 28 Jesus and Beelzebul

Luke 11: 14 – 28 Jesus and Beelzebul

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, ‘By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.’ Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

‘When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armour in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.

‘Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

‘When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.’

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’

He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’

*       *       *

I’m sorry – I find this a difficult passage to understand, so I’m just going to put down a few thoughts. They don’t add up to any coherent exposition, but hopefully they will witness to Jesus.

‘Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.’

There is no middle ground. We either obey Jesus or our actions will ultimately oppose God’s plan.

‘When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.’

The way to avoid the return of the impure spirit is to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. When we seek to obey Jesus, we need to respond to the urging of the Spirit, who will call us to pray, to worship, and to study. Perhaps above all, the Holy Spirit will enable us to become aware of Jesus. We should expect to experience his presence with us – because he loves us.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’

He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’

This matter of obedience is immensely important. It is, if you like, the proof of our faith. It is true that our salvation depends solely on our faith in Jesus, but if we truly have faith we will want to obey Jesus. To have faith in him means to respond to what we know of his life and message, to affirm that we believe in that life and message. Of course we’re going to want to do his will, because we’ve seen and understood that it’s good!

Prayer

Heavenly Father

Thank you for the presence of your Holy Spirit in my life. Please help me to understand what you want me to do, and help me have the strength to do it.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Published by pennygadd51

I write. I've written many pieces of flash fiction, dozens of short stories and two novels, with a third in progress.

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