Thursday 13 June 2013

Bible Book:

Luke 11:24-26 Thursday 13 June 2013


Before Jesus tells this parable he has been accused of castingout demons by the power of the Devil (Luke11:14-23). The devil is called Beelzebul which means 'the Lordof The Flies'; Satan, which means 'the accuser'; and we can alsoassume that Jesus' reference to the "strong man" is another titlefor the Devil. Jesus refutes their accusation and then draws a linkbetween his casting out of demons and the coming of the kingdom ofGod.

In the verses after this passage (Luke11:27-32) Jesus speaks about the blessedness of those who hearand obey the word of God and the judgement coming on those whorefuse to see the signs that Jesus is performing and then go on toask for proofs.

On leaving the house in the first place we notice that theunclean spirit wanders in waterless places looking for somewhere torest. This image of a desert reminds us of Jesus own temptation inthe desert by the devil (Luke4:1-13) and the long association with unclean spirits withdeserts.

In Jesus' description of the person who has been exorcised of anunclean spirit, he describes the unclean spirit as seeing theperson it once occupied as a house. In other words it is a dwellingplace. We can assume that in being able to re-enter into thathouse, it has not been re-occupied by anything else since theunclean spirit's departure. However, on returning Jesus describesseven other spirits who fill the house. The number seven issignificant in Jewish thinking as it always denotes completion,suggesting therefore that the house is now full up of uncleanspirits. As the parable says the last state of the person is worsethan the first. We are left to ask ourselves what could have filledthe house instead of the unclean spirits. Perhaps a clue to theanswer is found in verses 27-29 in which a woman speaks of the wombthat carried Christ (a dwelling place?) and Jesus' response.

To Ponder

  • What could have filled the house before the unclean spiritsreturned?
  • What place is there for exorcism in the Church and worldtoday?
  • Many people have seen parable as being applicable to post warIraq. What lessons might this parable teach us about the events oftoday? 
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