One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed, but some of them said, “No wonder He can cast out demons. He gets His power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that He show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove His authority.
“You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive? And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.()Luke 11:14-20
This segment begins a section which focuses on the opposition to Jesus ministry. Take note of the source of the opposition and the escalating nature of it. Jesus ministry was to “seek and to save the lost” as we have noted before. (Luke 19:10) In order to take back ground from the ruler of this world, Jesus must oppose the kingdom of darkness. Is it any different for us? The simple answer is “No”. We will encounter the opposition Jesus encountered too. When you encounter this opposition, know that they despise you because of Whose you are. They recognize the Christ in you and react violently. The presence of Jesus stirs up opposition. The Kingdom of God is not a matter of mere words but of power encounter and victory. But greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world. I have read the end of the book and am pleased to inform you – you are on the winning side. Take note of what I wrote in Gem 943 when we looked at the “Debriefing of the 72”. Yes indeed you have victory over the demonic world. Not just the disciples back then, but YOU as a follower of Jesus now. I have had numbers of experiences which demonstrate to me again and again, that I am on the winning side. When it comes to the alignment in the heavenlies, you are either for Him or against Him. If you are not for Him, you are against Him. There is no fence-sitting with Jesus.
We are not told where the above encounter took place. It is not important. What is important is the inevitable opposition. You will encounter opposition the moment you seek to follow Jesus. It is not all “tea and cream cakes”. Following Jesus will stir up opposition, especially if you seek to free others from the clutches of the enemy of our souls, the devil.
It is interesting that in this case, there is nothing specific to tell us when and where this took place. Many commentators have a problem with this and seek to tag the incident with the location and its historical roots. But it is clear that Luke doesn’t treat this happening in that way. It matters not where it happened or in what context. The fact is it happened. It is not an allegory, it is not a parable teaching us some other truth. It is a bland yet bold example for us telling of the escalating opposition to Jesus ministry. I’m sure it happened whenever and wherever He went. Interesting isn’t it, that when it comes to opposition to spiritual things, the criticism doesn’t have to make sense. Remember the criticism that Jesus and the disciples experienced with the eating and drinking issues. Some ate and drank, others chose to fast. In the eyes of those looking on, both were wrong. You can’t win with those who want to pick a fight or criticize. Be like Nehemiah and the work gang who chose to ignore the things the opposition were saying and continued on doing what they were doing before the attack of the opposition in the first place. Don’t let the opposition dissuade you from what you should be doing. Don’t get sidetracked.
What a ridiculous criticism they came up with here! He must get His power from Satan. Notice, it seems they didn’t voice those ideas. Jesus perceived what was going on in their thoughts (vs 17). A kingdom divided against itself is bound to fall. I have a problem with Christians who major on the criticism of other people’s ministries, to the detriment of the positive things they were doing. Make sure you contribute positively to the Kingdom and not end up merely criticizing what others do. The analogy applies to God’s Kingdom just as much as it applies to satan’s kingdom. So many times the people of God, (but I am not sure which god) find fault with much of what leadership are espousing. Much of the direction of the church is not to the liking of such people. So they criticize at every turn. People, it is easy to criticize. It is right to point out short comings with a view to improvement. It is appropriate to give our leaders input which we feel is likely to help our collective ministry. But it is not helpful to the Kingdom to always dwell on the negative. It is easier to pull down than to build up. It is perhaps more natural for humans to bring division and hand out brickbats. It is harder to be a contributor than a critic, but choose to take the high road – the harder way. Do it in order to build up the body.
When Jesus drove out demons, He made it clear this was Kingdom work. The coming of the Kingdom of God automatically involves a power encounter. It is unavoidable. The Kingdom of God cannot co-exist with the kingdom of darkness. Just like the two can’t exist together in the natural world, so too, they are not compatible in the spiritual. If you have darkness, then by inference there is no light. If you have light then the result is that darkness is driven out. The two don’t go together. A essential component of the coming of the Kingdom of God are the power encounters that occur with the kingdom of darkness. Just be careful that you don’t become a casualty of war, nor a defector or quisling who works for the other side through your criticism or backstabbing. A harsh comment perhaps, but a necessary one. I have been in the body of Christ too long to believe we are all angels. Some in the body are devils disguised as angels. Don’t be a contributor to pulling down the body of Christ. If you do, you are considered to be on the other side. Not by me, perhaps not by your pastor, but by Jesus Himself. Time to choose the side you are on.
The church’s problem isn’t too many people speaking negatively, it’s too few speaking positively!Bob Gass
Positive change can’t come from negative words. Complaining makes us part of the problem instead of the solution.Bob Gass
Today will you complain or contribute? Compete or cooperate? Criticize or compliment? Crush or create? Curse or cheer?Anon
He has the right to criticise who has the heart to help.Abraham Lincoln
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge. Others just rinse and spit.Anon