Expelling Evil Spirits

Luke 11: 15-26
Jl 1: 13-15. 2:1-2 / Ps 9

… if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
(Luke 11:18)

The evil that our Lord exorcized
Are spirits that we must recognize;
They do not gather with Jesus Christ
Who are scattered by their scheming lies.

After Jesus had cast out a demon that was dumb, some of the crowd said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” Others, to test Him, sought from Him a sign from Heaven. But knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and house falls upon house. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. He who is not with Me is against Me, and He who does not gather with Me scatters. When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my home from which I came.’ And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last condition of that person becomes worse than the first.” (Luke 11: 15-26)

Reflection

The pharisees attributed the Lord’s power to drive out demons from Beelzebul, the prince of darkness. But as Jesus said, “If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?” By their very words, the pharisees revealed their true nature. They would rather be in the dark than accept the power of Jesus as divine. They schemed and spread their lies that up to the present time have only served to scatter the Jews as a nation, and put a perpetual curse of persecution on the “chosen people” because they rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior.

The condition of Israel today is worse than the time when our Lord said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Lk.11:23). Seven more spirits more wicked than the first have moved in and dwelled there, because the Jews chose to believe the lies of their spiritual leaders, rather than believe in the Good News of salvation that God had brought when He became man.

Rather than being cynical and suspicious, we must learn to open our minds and hearts to the good that we see others are doing. A discerning mind trusts, and a compassionate heart believes, even when the ways are mysterious, and not familiar to our own. Sometimes, a traumatic experience has to happen before a skeptical heart begins to undergo a transformation. A brother in our community, who was once an atheist, started his road to Damascus and undergo a change of heart about God when an officemate prayed over him when he was stricken with pneumonia, and he was healed completely after a few days. God’s healing power not only healed him of his illness, but expelled the spirit of unbelief from his heart.

Let me praise You, Lord, with all my being; it is only proper that we declare all Your wondrous deeds. I take delight and rejoice in Your goodness, Lord; come, let us sing hymns to the holy Name of our God!” (Psalm 9:2-3.)

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