Jesus taught his followers to pray, “Your kingdom come” (Luke 11.2).
We know God’s kingdom is present, when the rule of evil is diminished by the power of God.
Jesus’ acts of healing and deliverance were evidence of the fact that God’s kingdom was coming to the world.
About one-third of Jesus’ actions in the Gospels include references to healing and deliverance. The healing of a mute man in Luke was one.
The defeat of the demon released the man to return to society. The presence of God’s kingdom enabled him to communicate with family and friends.
— Luke 11.14 – Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed.
The crowd that followed Jesus was amazed, but their response was lacking.
Amazed but not Convinced.
The crowd was generally amazed, but some in their midst were cynics full of questions about Jesus’ activity.
— Luke 11.15-16 – But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”
Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven.
Some members of the crowd accused Jesus of magic performed in cooperation with Satan. Beelzebul and Satan are interchangeable terms.
Still others, weren’t satisfied with the “sign” of a healed mute man. Apparently, they wanted to be the ones to determine the nature of the sign that would authenticate Jesus’ work.
Answers from Jesus
Jesus taught his followers to pray “Father, hallowed be your name” (Luke 11.2).
God’s character, nature, purpose and agenda is to be set apart from all that is ordinary or erroneous.
As Jesus defended his actions, he was defending God’s kingdom on earth at the same time.
— Luke 11.17-20 – But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house.
“If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? — for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.
“Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
“But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.”
Jesus pointed out the faulty logic of their argument.
It made no sense for Satan to deliver people from demonic oppression. It would do nothing but injure his cause.
The crowd was probably familiar with the expression “the finger of God.”
When God acted to deliver the Hebrew people from Egyptian slavery, Pharaoh’s counselors told him, “This is the finger of God!” (Exodus 8.19).
The conflict of two kingdoms was evident in the Exodus and the deliverance/healing of the mute man.
Jesus’ healing and deliverance ministry was an assault on the rule of Satan.
We live “between the times.” The “already” of God’s kingdom has come, but the “not yet” of the full defeat of Satan has not arrived.
The conflict between the kingdoms continues in 2021. One of the ways we can participate in Jesus’ agenda is by praying the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6.9-13 or Luke 11.1-4).
Every time we respond to Jesus’ authority in our lives, we join him in his victory over the evil one.
A Picture of Roman Rule
Powerful people in the first century were able to extract income from peasants and protect it with security forces.
These powerful strong men, were no obstacle to the powerful Roman army.
Jesus alluded to this phenomena.
— Luke 11.21-22 – “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe.
“But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder.”
Like the Roman army, Jesus came to conquer the petty tyrants of the world.
Unlike the Roman Empire, Jesus came in love and self-sacrifice. His agenda was self-giving love, and not self-serving greed.
A popular saying is “the ends justify the means.” The truth is “we become like the means we use.”
As we follow Jesus as citizens of his kingdom, we commit ourselves to the means that he uses to achieve victory.
We study his actions and attitudes and pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to live a Jesus-kind-of-life.
Whose side are you on?
Our response to Jesus will determine whether we are traitors in God’s kingdom or good citizens.
— Luke 11.23 – Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
If we are not willing to adopt his attitudes and actions toward life, we will find ourselves with the crowd that “scatters” people away from a relationship with Jesus.
On the other hand, if we live a Jesus-kind-of-life, God will use us to honor his reputation and help advance his rule on earth.
The question for us is how will we respond to the ministry of Jesus? Will we join him in his redemptive work in the world.
Rudy Ross and I visited about this passage on YouTube. You can see our video on the Bob Spradling YouTube video channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.