7664 - A Divided Kingdom


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I’m so glad you’re with us today. In our Bible passage for this study we again see Jesus refer to contemporary events to bring spiritual enlightenment.
Let me read Luke 11:14-20; then we can discuss it.

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.

But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons."

Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.

If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.

But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

There was a group of people, especially the political leaders among the Hebrews, who sought to discredit Jesus by any and every means they could devise.

Beelzebub was a heathen deity, believed to be the prince of evil spirits. Some thought this evil one was the prince of all moral impurity, so he was despised and abhorred by good people.

Perhaps these accusers agreed with the school of thought that if a statement was made in a factual manner and repeated often enough that people will believe it to be true.

In their minds they felt if they could convince the people that the mighty work of Jesus in exercising authority over demons and casting them from people in whom they were bringing pain and brokenness, was indeed a work of Beelzebub, then they would turn the people against Jesus.

Thus they were accusing Jesus of using evil powers to overcome the demon spirits.

Certainly it could not be denied that great power was being evidenced, so they were seeking to attribute the good and mighty works of Jesus to evil powers.

Jesus confronted the devious accusations in a straightforward manner.

First, he tore apart their major hypothesis. He analyzed their claim and pointed out that any kingdom divided internally is destined to fall apart — it will be torn apart from within. No outside force is needed.

The people of Jesus’ day were familiar with strife within political circles, which had brought division and ruin. Some probably shook their heads in agreement since their history and culture had examples of this principle. There had even been competing factors within Judaism, which had brought division and separation.

So if Satan’s evil kingdom is divided and is experiencing internal competition, then even Satan’s house will fall apart.

Most people sense that this is not going to happen. Satan must be overthrown by a stronger power — the power of God — not by internal strife.
Jesus also gave them another contradiction in their reasoning process.

There were people among these antagonists who also sought to drive out evil spirits at times. We are given no insight into their methods or success rate, but it seems the people were aware of their ministry.

Jesus asks these Jewish opponents to explain the power by which their people drove out demons. These rivals made no response to Jesus. Jesus says that these who have the ministry of deliverance will be the ones to judge the accusers.

It seems the talking died down. No more accusations were voiced.

Then Jesus said, “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” Here they are face to face with the Son of God, making false and devious accusations against Him. What kind of answers will they give to the final judge?

How about you? Do you stand opposed to Jesus or have you, by faith, embraced Him as Savior and Lord?