“The kingdom of the heavens is now advancing. Invade my heart, invade this broken town.”
This is part of a verse from the Jon Foreman song, Your Love is Strong. It boldly proclaims that God is at work, bringing his kingdom to earth. Do you really believe this, that Jesus is who he said he was and that he is at work in the world? Or do you sometimes struggle to believe? In today’s passage, many of the people surrounding Jesus reject him, even in the face of a miraculous demonstration of his power.
- What events in your life or in the world cause you to question whether God is strong and at work?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 11:14-28 (ESV)
14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What were the three responses of the people when Jesus cast out the demon from the man (vss. 14-16)?
- Jesus used a three-point argument to answer those who thought he cast out the demon by the power of Beelzebul (Satan). What were these three points (vss. 18-20), and whom did Jesus claim to be?
- Verses 24-26 are an elaboration of the point Jesus made in verse 23. From these verses, what did Jesus imply about the option of remaining neutral in regard to him?
- If you witnessed Jesus perform a miracle, would your response be to marvel, to rationalize away the miracle, or to seek an additional sign from him? Why?
- In what areas of your life are you struggling to know that God is strong and working? Where do you need to express your faith in him and trust his ability to work?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus’ miracles attest to the fact that he is the Messiah, sent to set captives free from bondage to Satan and to usher in the kingdom of God. We must choose to either join Jesus or oppose him; being neutral isn’t an option. Blessed is the one who chooses Jesus and keeps his word. The end of the verse in Jon Foreman’s song states it well: “The kingdom of the heavens is buried treasure. Will you sell yourself to buy the one you’ve found?”
- Thank God for sending his son to bring his kingdom to our world.
- Ask him to show you how he would like to use you to advance his kingdom today.