Luke 13 Part 3–Humility vs. Self-Promotion

Jesus was now under major scrutiny by the religious leaders.  They had but one goal, get rid of Jesus.  Jesus was invited to a prominent Pharisee’s house for dinner and there, waiting, is a man to be healed.  Of course, it was on the sabbath.  I am sure Jesus was thinking, “Really, healing on the Sabbath again???”  So, Jesus simply asked the leaders the question, is it OK to heal on the sabbath?  They of course did not answer–if they answered No then Jesus had them because as He pointed, they would save their kids and livestock on the sabbath. Doing good was allowed!   If they would have answered yes, then Jesus would have taken away their best trap. It was becoming comical.

Next Jesus talked about living a life of Humility.  He showed that those who try to constantly exalt themselves, will be embarrassed.  Conversely, if one simply lives and acts humbly; God and others will exalt them.  What a gift and what a more lasting honor.  Jesus tried so ardently to help people to shift their thoughts from self-centered survival to an attitude of faith; trusting God to lead and provide. Sadly, the leaders were not grasping the concept.  That was the most frustrating aspect for Jesus.  These were supposed to be God’s best and brightest; but they missed the most important aspect of a life of devotion to God–selfless faith.

In our lives, Jesus still wants us to grasp the principle, Seek God and follow Him.  Then He will meet your needs and lift you up to a life of peace and joy.  The Lord will also prepare for you an eternal life with Him as His chosen.  We need not spend our days trying to earn prominence or self-promoting our spirituality.  That will get us nowhere.  Instead, we simply and humbly follow the Father, then, we can allow the Lord to lift us up.  It is a great way to live and brings peace during chaos.

God Bless You


One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.

Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 13 Part 2–The Personal Nature of Faith

Jesus begins presenting pictures of the transition to heaven.   He uses some vivid examples to assist His followers in understanding what lies ahead.  The first picture is one of Heaven being like a mustard seed.  One need only see the very small mustard seed to think it a forgettable thing.  Still, as Jesus reminds us, it grows into a tree that is big enough to be a community for birds to live in and be supported.  Jesus reminds us that our faith is the same.  While the beginnings are humble, the growth over time is amazing and as we mature in Christ, we not only become mature in Him; but we also support the growth of the community of believers and become a source of strength and shelter for others.

Next, He likens Heaven to yeast.  Yeast seems harmless enough on its own, but as we work it through the flour, it becomes the agent of growth for loaves and loaves of bread and sustenance for many people.  It is like our influence on the kingdom.  If we remain faithful, the spirit will work through us and use us to grow and be a part of the spread of Christ throughout our world.  Like the yeast, His spirit raises the lives of men and makes them priceless change agents and ambassadors for the Lord.

Finally, Jesus speaks to the personal nature of our walk with God.  He uses the picture of a narrow gate.  Not everyone will enter heaven.  When they are not admitted, the people will complain that they were the folks you were preaching at all the time.  Jesus will answer, “OK, but I never knew you, and I have no clue of your intentions.”  These are hard words.  Jesus requires us to invest our lives into our faith and know Him personally.  We live our lives following His lead.  As we do, we will know Him personally.  Revelation 3:20 says it best, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door–i will come in and sup with him and he with Me.”  In the culture of that time, breaking bread was the sign of friendship and relationship. Unless the relationship is personal, there is no trust or commitment. The national relationship of Israel to God was simply not sufficient to know God.  Jesus calls us to know Him personally–not simply knowing who He is, but, knowing His heart and desire to love and care for us.  

Jesus paints three amazing pictures of what we need to know about God and Heaven.  As we trust Him, we will grow, minister, and build a relationship that carries us to eternity. 

God Bless You


18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”

20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

The Narrow Door

22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.

Luke 13 Part 1–Patience and Fruit Bearing

Jesus was facing tough questions.  It was obvious that several of those following Jesus saw the Messiah as a warrior to free Jerusalem and the Jewish nation from Roman rule.  Jesus had a much bigger plan.  His goal was to free people from the iron grip of sin and death.  It had to be difficult to see such limited mindset.  As Jesus’s ministry continued, He became more frustrated with the people’s inability to see His attempts to present to the world the real picture of God and His love for people.  Instead, they were looking for a magician, a peddler, and a warrior.  None the less, He refocused attention on the need to seek and to save that which is lost.  That is how Jesus knew the world would be saved and changed.  That in mind, it is real when He says there should real fruit.


The change in focus was not the warm and fuzzy moments we like to read about.  We love the stories about healing the sick, feeding the hungry and calming storms.  But Jesus also wanted people to understand His purpose was and is eternal.  He was preparing His apostles thinning the crowd and preparing to finish His mission.  For our part, we need to be preparing to share the Gospel, walk by faith and walk in a way that glorifies God.  He does not want us to check boxes to think we are earning favor; instead, He simply directs us to trust and follow God’s lead. 


As the church does that, Christians will experience a full and meaningful life,  His chosen will experience peace, preparation, and provision; no matter what cards the world deals us.  In the days ahead, the Church will experience a shaking, in that shaking, we need to trust and allow God to execute His plan.  He is large and in charge. We need never doubt His love for us and His desire to prepare us for eternity.  Our faith is a faith tested by spiritual war.  Allow Him to battle on our behalf.

God Bless You


Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

Luke 12 Final–Preparing for War

Jesus knew His time on earth would be done very soon.  He was preparing the people for what lie ahead.  He admonished them to pay attention.  It is no different, Jesus said, than when you see storm clouds coming in or feel a hot gust of wind blowing up from the south.  All life is marked with tell-tale signs.  Jesus then reminded the crowds that He did not come to bring peace.  He warned them His presence would in fact cause division.  It would split families, cause wars, and destroy the established norms.  He came to represent the Lord God and draw God’s people back to a personal relationship with the Father.  Nothing about that would be easy, safe, or fun.  There is little doubt that that message thinned His following.  Most of His crowds were there to be fed and entertained. Jesus’s message of division and conflict was not what they signed up for.

We face the same struggle today.  Stadiums and arenas are filled with Christians that see God as a saint-like Santa and a provider of joy and fun.  But, when faced with adversity and persecution, many flee back to the world and its accoutrements–figuring that is better to stick to what they know.  Then and now, God promises there will be adversity and division.  The spiritual realm is at war and we are dragged into it by following our Lord. We must not shy away from the adversity, but instead stand firm against it.  As Peter told us, “The enemy is a roaring lion, roaming TO and FRO, seeking whom he may devour.”  We need to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm as we face the devil and his demons.  Ephesians 6.  We must stay focused on the Lord and His leadership; and walk with Him gratefully and humbly–until His return.  Help me, Lord, to remain faithful, strong, and true; as I walk in your plan.

God Bless You


49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Times

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?

57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

More Luke 12–Being Prepared for His Return

Now Jesus begins to make it real.  Jesus was preparing the disciples for the transition.  The Lord knew His time was limited and He needed His guys to live and be ready.  Up to that point, they followed Jesus and stood in the background while He did amazing things.  Now, He was preparing them to take the lead and work on His behalf to build the church.  He knew He was going to die.  The Lord also knew He would rise and ascend to be with the Father. 

So, Jesus needed His guys to be ready for that day so that they could, in fact, change the world.  Jesus also wanted them to understand that they needed to prepare for His return.  They would neither know the date nor the hour of the Lord’s return, but they needed to live as if it were immanent.  So, Jesus said it straight out–“Be ready as if you were preparing for the return of the master from a long journey.  Be ready as if you were going to stop an invasion.  Be ready as if tomorrow would be the most important day ever. Be ready!!!

Such is the call for us today.  We are to live as if Jesus return was imminent.  Truth be known, it is.  We see the signs and know that the Lord may not tarry much longer.  We need to live lives of commitment and faith, because, even if we should die before he returns–He will return.  In that moment, like any good servant, we must be prepared to give an account of our lives and action.  What Jesus was teaching His chosen ones was to live for what is real and eternal.  We cannot say, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die!”  The world lives that way, and it has led to chaos. 

Live a life worthy of the Gospel.  Live as if Jesus will be back tomorrow.  If you will, you will enjoy peace and you will be prepared when that day finally comes.

God Bless You


35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Luke 12 Part 3–Do not Sweat the Small Stuff (It’s all Small Stuff)

Jesus knew it was time to focus His chosen on the important things in life.  So many of us have hearts that long to be like Christ. Unfortunately, we are distracted by the things and worries of this world.  Especially when one has others that depend upon them–families, employees, parishioners, patients, students all draw upon our energy and wisdom to make their daily journey.  Jesus pulled the apostles aside and reminded them that God knows their concerns and has prepared to address them.  Luke 12:31 matches Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and God will give you everything you need!”  

Sometimes we are simply distracted from this universal truth.  We seek all the things of the world–money, power, security, favor, love, and peace.  Sadly, the world will never give any of those things.  Oh, it will promise them all but, in the end, like the flowers in the field it will wilt and die.

  God, on the other hand, grants the fruit of the spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  Ask what you will, but that is what makes our lives complete.  That is why Jesus said time and again–Seek God, He will give you the stuff you need to live and what is more He will give you the peace to be full and complete on the journey. 

Paul sums it up quite nicely in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving bring your requests to God.  Then the peace of God that passes all human comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!”

God Bless You


Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

2 Corinthians 12:9–Thanks Jeff JonesBut he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Luke 12 Part 2–Wealth and Fools

God Has never worried Himself with riches.  He blesses some with much wealth, and others He provides just enough each day.  As Israel traveled through the desert for 40 years, He gave them enough manna for the day, and no more.  As a result, when they entered Israel, they easily trusted God as He had provided what they needed for a generation.  In this passage, Luke tells of the parable of the rich fool.  He had so much wealth that he had no place to store it.  Rather than help those in need or give some back to God, he decided he would simply hoard it by tearing down his barns and build bigger ones.  God shook His head…You fool, don’t you know your life will be demanded of you tonight?!!?

We need to depend upon God for our provision.  When we become secure in our own wealth, abilities, or knowledge–it causes us to discount our daily dependence upon the Lord.  As we grow independent of God, we lose sight of who we are and Whose we are.  When that happens, sin takes over and we spiral out of control.  History is full of people that started walking closely with God, but then allowed their personal success to become a wedge between them and God.  Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content in all circumstances–whether well fed or hungry; living in plenty or in want, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Phil 4:12-13

God uses wealth as a tool to advance His plan.  When God blesses one with wealth, He simply asks that it be used wisely and hold on to loosely.  As with Israel, In the end hoarded riches are foolish. There are no U-Hauls in Heaven.  Great stewardship and generosity are hallmarks of those God blesses.  It is man’s ability to recognize God’s provision, no matter how much or how little he possess, that is the true blessing.  Help me, Lord, to be content with Your daily provision.

God Bless You


Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12 Part 1–Perspective and Persecution

It was a difficult day for the Lord.  The crowds were great, the pharisees had committed to getting rid of Jesus and so at every turn Jesus had to confront the pressure of the crowds and attacks of the pharisees.  Still during the chaos and craziness, Jesus stops to give perspective on what lay ahead.  First, Jesus warned His followers to be real and transparent.  He reminded them that the religious leaders looked great on the outside, but their hypocrisy is what pervaded their lives.  They lived as if it was all hidden, but God sees it all and will reveal it.

Next, Jesus gave them a stark perspective–they need not worry about those that would threaten death or injury, that is all they have.  The one to fear is the one that controls what comes after death.  In short, trust God that controls your eternity, not men that control this short present time.  Remember, Jesus said, God cares for grass and sparrows, how much more will He care for His chosen.  So, when you are persecuted, Jesus warned, do not be fearful–God’s spirit will encourage and direct you.  Jesus knew the time had come when the dynamic had changed from Rockstar to savior.  His mission was now to prepare the Disciples to change the world.  He was transparent, He wanted them to know that things were going to be difficult.  As such, they needed to be ready to face what was coming.

The same holds true today.  As a Church, we have enjoyed peaceful worship and unfettered access to God’s Word, His leadership, His community, and His protection.  The time is coming, however, where that will no longer be the case.  In this time, we see constant pushes to restrict worship and the free practice of our faith.  Jesus is reminding us, as He did His guys, we need not worry about persecution, all they can do is kill our bodies. 

We need to focus upon eternity, and on our walk with God–not on those who would deny us our right to worship freely.  It is no small thing to realize that the world hates people of faith.  As the world walks away from God, we must expect His withdrawing His hand of protection, and we must be ready to defend our faith with all we have and are.  In that, however, we can trust God to provide what we need at any given moment.  Look at the sparrows and the flowers–right?!!

God Bless You


Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

Luke 11 Continued–Lord and Light

Simply put, the crowds were growing, and Jesus was becoming a circus act,  People were hoping for a miracle meal or they wanted another cool healing or sign.  The Lord could see the hearts of the crowd shifting from a desire to know God to a desire to be entertained.  Within the crowd were some believers, some critics, and many thrill seekers.  Jesus could see the shift and knew that His popularity was not a good thing.  It made Him sad.  He told His faithful ones to check their hearts.  If they are full of light, then allow that light to shine.  If they are full of darkness, then allow that darkness to be replaced with God’s light.  

2000 years later, little has changed.  Many that seek God are still looking to be entertained.  The church better have the bells and whistles in sermon and worship, or they will go someplace else.  If the pastor is not a brilliant speaker and entertainer, then let’s find another.  Many have lost sight of the fact that church is a community where we encourage each other and build each other up.  The shepherd leads, but everyone ministers.  We follow the Lord to prepare for a life of selfless service.  Not to purchase fire insurance or to be entertained.  Our daily lives should act as a spotlight pointing on God’s grace and greatness, not on our piety or spirituality.  Jesus was God, not a Rockstar.  We are called to follow His lead and to glorify the Father.

God Bless You


29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

The Lamp of the Body

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,[g] your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy,[h] your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Luke 11 Part 2–Driving Out Demons and Looking for Unity

After such a great insight on prayer, Luke moves to another critical kingdom topic, unity.  Jesus was crossing Israel and simply teaching truth and restoring lives.  The religious leaders could not stand it.  They hated the competition, but worse, they hated seeing God working and them not getting the glory for it.  So, on this day, Jesus drives a demon out of a man that has closed his mouth.  When Jesus drives the demon out, of course, the man starts praising God.  The Jewish leaders start accusing Jesus of driving demons out by the power of the head demon–Satan.

Jesus laughs at them.  He reminds them that a house divided against itself will not stand.  Satan defeating Satan is a ridiculous proposition.  What Jesus does not say; but clearly infers, however, is “It is almost as ridiculous as God’s religious leadership attacking God’s Messiah…”  Jesus does call them out, however, He points out that if God is using Him to drive out demons, they would have to admit that He is sent by God.  They would rather make a ridiculous statement than do that.  I am sure it was painful to see such self-righteous men miss God when God was standing among them!

In our world, we see the same disunity.  Churches get bent and divided when great things are happening–simply because the great things are not following leadership’s Standard Operating Procedure.  SOP is code for the leadership is not getting the credit.  As a family, God’s people must unify, pray, and live in a manner worthy of the Gospel.  We must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  We must walk as Christ’s ambassadors.  We live and speak in a way that brings God glory and honor.  In that life, the church will endure and grow to lead the world to a relationship with God.  We will be that nation of priests that God had in mind when He chose us as His own.

Unity with a focus on God will win the day.  That can only happen if we will cling to the notion that God is God, and we are not! 

God Bless You


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.

21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.

23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”