The Gospel of Luke | Defeating Demons | Luke 11.14-20 |

by | Jun 28, 2021

orion nebula, emission nebula, constellation orion

“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.” Luke 11.14-20

It’s easy to read this passage and only see Jesus’ defense about how a kingdom divided against itself will fall. Some of the people had accused him of using demons to cast out demons. But Jesus rebukes this thought. He said, “If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?”

What we tend to miss is the miracle Jesus performs at the beginning of the interchange, how Jesus drove out the demon of a man who had been mute and began to speak. The Scriptures tell us “the crowd was amazed.” But some of them weren’t. Some accused Jesus of having demons himself. This, of course is foolishness.

Another important mention by Jesus comes in v.20 when he had made his point about a divided kingdom. He says, “But if I drive out demons by the ”finger of God,” then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” What a statement! Jesus spoke much about the kingdom of God, what it was, how it had arrived upon earth, and why we should live into it. So what does it mean for the kingdom of God to have “come upon you” or as it says in other passages, to be “among” you?

I think it means that what we see with our eyes is only half of the picture. What we often diagnose as medical or scientific related problems or issues, might be more related to spiritual infirmities than physical issues. I read recently where one author believes UFOS to be less about alien life and more about spiritual beings, angels and demons, appearing through a place in the heavens. [UFOs and the Extraterrestrial Message: A spiritual insight into UFOs and cosmic transmissions, by Richard Lawrence].

Not that I am convinced UFOS are angelic or demonic, but my point is if Jesus said the Kingdom of God is among us, then it truly must be present. It’s within our reach, not far from our grasp, lurking in the seen and the unseen. The spiritual realm isn’t miles above us in the heavens, it is an arms length away. It’s both among us as a waging war of the spirits (Ephesians 6) and within those created in God’s likeness (Luke 17.21).

So what does this have to do with Jesus driving out demons? It means this stuff is real. It’s not only medical, psychological or scientific problems, it’s also spiritual issues people are facing. The violence, infirmities, afflictions and troubles also have connected spiritual roots. The parallel world to earth is God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

How then shall we respond? We pray. We walk in the Spirit. We proclaim the good news. We live according to God’s will and purpose for our lives. We love God and worship him with our whole heart and we rebuke and reject the devil at every turn.

Defeating demons is only part of the equation and one actually that Jesus has taken care of already. The rest of the story is living into the work of God by the Spirit of God. Living fruitful, faithful and holy lives according to his power and purpose because Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is among us.”

“O Lord God, you are good. I am but your messenger, mouthpiece and minstrel — proclaiming your goodness, singing of your praises. Use me today to witness to your grace, love and presence among us. Help us communicate to all we know and see that you are good and that you are God. Thank you for loving us and for the power of the Cross to overcome sin and death. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen