Before we get into Luke 11:29-32, we need to see the larger context of what was happening at the time. In 11:14, Jesus had cast a demon out of mute man. You would think that after seeing such a miracle, that people would have no trouble believing in Jesus.
But that wasn’t the case at all. A few were amazed, to be sure. But others accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan. And others, well, look at verse 16—
16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. (Luke 11:16)
Huh? They just saw an incredible sign! And furthermore, Jesus had been performing miracles—signs—for several months at this stage. He had multiplied loaves and fishes, raised people from the dead, and even given His disciples to cast out demons and heal people.
I am sure that, for those people who ask for signs, it’s a perfectly reasonable request. I mean, if you are going to place your eternal future in the hands of someone, then you’d better be sure about who he is…right?
Let’s see what Jesus has to say about that.
Our passage in Luke 11 concerns demon possession. Demon possession is when a demon or demons come to reside in a person and take control of that person’s mind and body.
In the Bible, we see demons causing disease-like symptoms as with the boy with epilepsy or the man who was mute. We see others make a person insane, as with the man who lived in the tombs. Not every case of medical problems is demon possession, of course—many are due to the curse of sin that causes our bodies to break down.
We don’t know how many people are inhabited by demons. Perhaps there are many who have demons, but the demons work quietly behind the scenes in that person.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:18–21)
1) FOUR LEVELS OF THANKFULNESS
What do you think is the hardest command in the Bible to obey? I think we have to give a high place on the list to Ephesians 5:20—give thanks for all things. That’s hard isn’t it? Oh, sure, when the things that happen to us are good, it’s easy to be thankful. But when things go bad? Well, not so much. Sometimes, it’s everything we can do to not be bitter or angry—to be thankful is just asking too much.
Adrian Rogers, a well-known Southern Baptist preacher who died in 2005, said that there were four levels of thankfulness. Which one are you? There are, first, the…
When I was a geeky, uncoordinated seventh grader, my least favorite PE class was when we played Dodgeball. Dodgeball, for those of you fortunate enough to have avoided it all your life, is when two teams throw those red rubber balls of various sizes at each other. If you hit someone with a ball, they are out. If they catch your ball, you are out.
Therefore, it is vital that you throw the ball as hard and fast as you can, and that you aim at their head, so that they have less chance of catching it. At least that’s what I assumed. I was never able to throw the ball fast and, as for aiming for the head…well, I could hit a barn door and that’s about it.
My tactic, along with a few of my geeky friends, was to hang out on the back wall of the gym, out of danger. I declared myself neutral. This did not help my team at all—in fact, it helped the other team because it was a self-inflicted divide and conquer. They only had to deal with a portion of our team at a time. Not being for our team when it counted turned out to be the same as being against them.
And, judgment day would come for me. Eventually, the brave part of my team would be eliminated and I had to come forward. When I did, it was only me and a few other uncoordinated seventh graders left. On the other side were all the strong winners who had no fear of being tagged out by us. They could pick us off without worry and without mercy!
Everyone is either for Jesus—on His team. Or they are against Jesus. There are those who try to hang out on the back wall and declare themselves neutral, but they really are against Jesus and they will face Judgment Day.
In this passage, we will see how inconsistent and illogical and blasphemous people can be as they try to deal with the person of Jesus Christ. First, we see them make a…