Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dealing with unclean spirits, part 4: Intentional seeing

And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons"...

But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. (Luke 11:14-15, 20-22 NASB)

The "if" in verse 20 is an interesting word. In it's original language, the word means, "if and it is true". We might read this phrase, "If I cast out demons by the finger of God, and I do." This particular "if" also indicates that something else cannot be true. The phrase then becomes, "If I cast out demons by the finger of God, and I do, then I do not cast them out by Beelzebul". 

One of the things I love about the words of Christ is how He clarifies and makes difficult concepts simple. Jesus had clearly cast out the demon. The mute man could talk. No one doubted that Jesus had done it. The crowd's question was not if Jesus had done it, but how, by what power. 

Jesus said that the power to cast out the demon had come from one of two places, Beelzebul, as some of the people thought, or from God. He first made it clear that the ruler of demons would not last long if he gave people the power to cast out his demons. 

The truth, then, was that Jesus had cast the demon out by the power of God. "If I've cast out demons by the power of God, and I have, there's something else you need to consider." (Leanna paraphrase) If Jesus' power came from God, then the people needed to consider what else that meant. The Kingdom of God has come, Jesus told them, and you need to take note of this, not just let it pass you by.

Unless I am intentional about seeing the kingdom of God at work in my life, I can easily allow it to pass by without notice, and what a tragedy that is. I can completely miss seeing God at work, seeing His sweetness in the routine of my day.

The presence of Jesus in our lives brings the Kingdom of God to us. It's up to us to take note of it. For today, let's pray that we will see God at work around us with such clarity that we are overwhelmed with the certainty that Almighty God has come. 

Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus.