Read: Luke 11:24-36
This section in Luke digs into some details that are challenging to discuss with those raised in a Christ-centered home; imagine what it’s like to talk to a non-believer about these things! An impure spirit is released and the house left empty, Jesus’ mother is honored, demands for a sign, and the parable of lamp of the body all require we make the right decision. Faith is challenged and stretched when we slow down and consider the passage this morning.
Perhaps this should be four separate posts, but then again, maybe Luke wanted to paint a broad stroke across the canvas with the word: Choices.
The last time I cast out an impure spirit from someone, I made sure to remind them… Oh, wait. Start over with the thing about casting out impure spirits. I’d be happy to have that ability, then it seems easy to appreciate the need to fill the void.
And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. Luke 11:26
Jesus tells the story, but does not provide an answer, He simply casts a thought for our consideration. We’ve read several instances where demons are cast out (by Jesus and His disciples). The imagery here is of a clean house, a blank canvas, a glass in tact but empty. We have our first choice: fill the glass with the Spirit.
On a practical level, let’s say the impure spirit is television. Years ago we decided to save time and money by cutting out cable TV. The decision was easy, but what do we do with the time gained? Do we play games together, interact with each other or hide in our personal bubbles, lost in a game or book? It’s a choice.
If it’s an addiction, what do we do to replace the void? Whether drugs or some other vice, filling the void is as important, if not more important, than casting out that which causes us grief.
Privilege by Birthright
Talking about casting out impure spirits has the crowd confused so someone shouts:
Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you. Luke 11:27
Ahem, change the subject, turn the page, change the channel, let’s talk about something else, right?
Jesus is not showing any disrespect of Mary here, but He is reminding us that the subject at hand is serious, requires our response, and is not limited to those born of royalty. The gates of heaven are open to all. Choose well.
We Need a Sign
YouTube would explode if Jesus had chosen 2018 to appear. We would watch miracle after miracle on endless loop. Highlight reels would proliferate the internet to show us the Son of God in action. Witnessing to people would be a simple matter of providing a link. No more tract-and-dash, just click-and-see!
Instead, we are required to build messy relationships, have faith, to choose to believe without seeing, to listen to those who have gone before and make a wise choice.
“So let your light shine,” a phrase I remember from songs of my youth (now that was a long time ago!). Don’t hide your light, shine it for all the world to see. Absolutely important. Here’s the verse that jumped out at me this morning:
See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Luke 11:35
Think about that for a while. How can the light within you be darkness? I had to thumb through different translations to get to one that helped unpack this one. Try this:
Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. Luke 11:35
It’s all about choices.
Fill us with Your Spirit Jesus, help us make the best choices today, not just a good decision, but the best choice.