Thank you, Father, for your love and for your unlimited favor. Thank you for your power that holds me fast, protects me from evil, and is at work in and through me.
Read LUKE 11:14-28
Jesus and Beelzebul
14 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. 15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “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.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 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.”
27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever witnessed a miracle first-hand? If so, what was your reaction? Praise, bewilderment, amazement, fear, skepticism? Or has God ever used you to bring a miracle into someone’s life? How did others react?
Religious leaders pile into Jesus with hatred. He’s more popular and powerful than they are, and he doesn’t keep their traditions. They won’t accept that he’s from God, but everyone can see he’s doing amazing things. So, they’d better discredit him by claiming he’s in partnership with Satan (Beelzebul, v 15)—at least that will explain where his power comes from.
As followers of Jesus, we know that being on his side doesn’t mean an easy life for us either. It can make people wary of us, suspicious of our motives, and skeptical about the reality of God at work. But Jesus assures us that we’re on the winning side in the battle of the two kingdoms—Satan’s and God’s. Jesus is undoubtedly the ‘someone stronger’ (v 22), and we’re with him. Jesus not only overcame Satan and his power on our behalf, he disarmed him (Colossians 2:15), taking away all his armor. Jesus’ victory was complete—Satan will not keep or enjoy the gains from his temporary victories.
Praise God for the reassurance Romans 8:31–39 gives us.
Lord Jesus, you died to set me free, you rose from the dead, and now live to intercede for me. Fill me with your Spirit to overflowing.
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