Gospel: Luke 11:14-23
One day, Jesus was driving out a demon, which was mute. When the demon had been driven out, the mute person could speak, and the people were amazed. Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” Others wanted to put him to the test, by asking him for a heavenly sign.
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.
But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and well armed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
“Whoever is not with me is against me.”
Jesus, presumably, had the power to perform any number of wonders: to make the sky turn dark, or make the earth tremble. And yet by and large he used his power to heal sick and afflicted people—not even important people, but just any miserable and outcast person he met along the way. This raised the question: “By what power does he do these things?” Jesus knew what they were thinking: that he must be relying on demonic powers! How could he rely on the power of demons to drive out demons?
A tree may be judged by its fruits. What produces life, wholeness, and holiness, comes from God. What produces division, discord, and hatred, comes from demons. What confuses us is that demonic forces of- ten operate under the banner of God. People can wage war, amass unjust fortunes, dismiss the poor, or discriminate against their neighbors while loudly proclaiming God’s name. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the fruits. Do their deeds protect life, honor human dignity, promote peace and reconciliation? On that basis it is easy to discern the difference between God and demons.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019