A house divided against itself falls
Luke 11:14-36 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 16 Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.
24 “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
27 While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” 28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
29 As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. 30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”
In today’s text Jesus says: “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls… He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” Jesus said this regarding the accusations that he was in league with Satan, saying: If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? But, the same thing could be said of the church today. It is one thing to have different preferences and traditions, but it is a different thing for denominations and sects to actually be opposed to and divided against each other. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” How will the world know Jesus disciples if we do not love one another? Even more, how can the disciples of Christ truly show the love of God to the world when we are divided against those who share the same Spirit? If we are not unified in Christ, can we truly be unified with Christ? If we are not unified in Christ, can we truly gather with Him, or do we scatter? There are many things we can differ over, but we need to find unity in the things we have in common. We need to be unified in Christ, the cross, the resurrection and the Holy Spirit. When we focus on differences we tend to see how far apart we are. When we focus instead on the things we have in common, we see how close we are. When we love one another, the world will see that we are Christ’s disciples and then we can demonstrate the love God to the world.
Jesus says: “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” It is vital that we become filled with the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives that we are delivered from the influence of unholy spirits. Galatians 5:16-25 says: I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. The Spirit and the flesh are in opposition to each other. So too, we are walking in the flesh if we are in opposition to those who are of the Spirit. We cannot be fully delivered from the flesh unless we are fully filled by the Spirit. In Psalm 23:5, the psalmist says: You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. We too, need to be anointed with and by the Holy Spirit until it overflows from us.
Jesus says: “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” To the extent that there is division among us as disciples, there is still darkness within us. Jesus says: “when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light” In Matthew 7:3-5 Jesus says: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Very often we will find that if we will all concern ourselves with our own logs, we will see clearly that the specks in the eyes of others have taken care of themselves.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; as I am unified with You may I also be unfied with those who are Yours. May I walk in and by the Spirit. May the Spirit overflow from me. May there be no dark place left in me, so that world may see Your light. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.