Monday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 11:14-23

The Kingdom of God Has Come Upon You

There was so much to rejoice over when the Son of God assumed our flesh and became man – there still is.  Here we see Jesus casting out a demon which was mute, so that the man was able to speak.  What a wonderful miracle and gift to this poor man, and to the Jewish community and people as a whole!  Isn’t it obvious that God had visited His people?  Isn’t this a day of rejoicing?  Well, apparently some didn’t think so.  It’s amazing how jealousy can blind people and harden hearts.  Some people looking on that day could take no joy in this man’s newfound ability to speak; instead, they attribute Jesus’ ability to heal, not to God, but of all things, to the devil.

So Jesus now attempts to open the eyes of the blind, that is, help these spiritually blind people to see, which is much harder than opening the eyes of the physically blind.  You see, healing spiritual maladies is harder than healing physical maladies, just as being born again is a greater miracle than being born.  At any rate, Jesus responds to their blasphemous accusations of his being in league with the devil by pointing out the common-sense notion that such an association would be utterly stupid: Why would Satan cast out Satan?  Would not his kingdom fall?  And then, speaking of kingdoms, Jesus announces the wonderful news that, if, instead, it is by the finger of God that he casts out demons, well, then, the kingdom of God has come upon you.  And if that is the case, then I am binding Satan, the “Strong Man,” who has held this poor man captive all these years, and laying his kingdom waste, and introducing the liberty of the sons of God.  And these sons of yours who will soon follow me by saving faith will do even greater things because I go to the Father (John 14:12). Isn’t this a time for rejoicing!

But it wasn’t, and for many, it still isn’t.  Such is man’s blindness when his heart is hardened by sin.  Then Jesus says that “whoever is not with me is against me.”  On another occasion, Jesus said, “The one who is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50).  The context of each saying is different.  Here, people are attributing Jesus’ work to Satan; there, someone whom the disciples did not know was casting out demons in Jesus’ name.  The former saying speaks to man’s sin and the uncompromising call to repentance; the latter to the acceptance of goodwill gestures even if further enlightenment is needed (Acts 18:24-28).  In short, we want to be “gathering” with Jesus, with hearts open to his word, doing kingdom work, binding Satan, and affirming the work of our brothers and sisters on our Lord’s behalf.  The kingdom of God is upon us (Luke 17:21); let us rejoice and be glad!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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