Date: 17 July 2022
Sermon Text: Luke 11:14-36
Speaker: Ps Daniel Tan
Blessed Sunday to all.
It was good to have nearly 200 of us at the hotel ballroom last Sunday. Looking forward to having us all here in Henderson soon.
We have taken a break for 3 weeks over our sermon series of Luke’s Gospel in June.
Over 2 Sundays, we looked together at what it meant to be a spiritual family. How we can as a community of faith support our nuclear families and our singles.
I pray that we were all encouraged by the gift of the church family that God has provide for us in Hermon.
Last week at our anniversary, I shared about spiritual CPF. That what we should continue to do, is for Christ to be Proclaimed Faithfully.
Now this is in line with our church mission statement – to glorify God by being and making disciples of Christ Jesus.
As disciples of Christ, may I refer us all to Ps Luwin’s editorial today. It is about the implication of the reversal of Roe vs Wade at the Supreme Courts in the US.
If Christ is to be Proclaimed Faithfully, what is the implication on us as believers to the sanctity of human life? Not only to the unborn but for all mankind?
Ps Luwin makes the point that we should not only be pro-life but pro-eternal life.
And I submit, it dovetails with Christ Proclaimed Faithfully. That is why as a church we proclaim Christ, for we are pro-eternal life.
Now to be pro-eternal life, it means we have acknowledge that we have become citizens of heaven. Part of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And the thing is, does kingdom life start only when we are called home to glory? Or does it already start now here on earth?
That’s something which Luke the Gospel writer was trying to impress upon this person called Theophilus. So Luke’s gospel was written because:
Lk 1:3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
So, in our passage today, it is to have the certainty about how we perceive the kingdom of Jesus and how is that in relation to the reign of Satan here on earth.
The reign of Satan - who is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2) and the ruler of the world (Jn 16:11), is being attacked.
For the Kingdom of Jesus has been inaugurated with His incarnation.
It’s breaking in and conquering (v14 to v26)
Let’s begin with exploring v14 to v26. Do we perceive that the kingdom of Jesus is breaking in and conquering?
Lk 11:14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.
Beelzebul, the prince of demons is another reference to Satan. And when Jesus delivers this man from bondage, we see 3 different reactions.
There were those who marvelled at the healing and deliverance. There were others who instead accused Jesus of using Satanic magic and finally there were sceptics who says, we are not convinced, show us a sign from heaven.
In our text today, we will see how Jesus respond to these 3 groups of people.
In this first section, from v14 to v26, I submit that Jesus is responding primarily to those who are accusing Him of doing Satanic magic, of casting out the demon by the power of Beelzebul.
Jesus gives logical reasons why he cannot be casting out the demon by Beelzebul.
Firstly, in v17 & 18, Jesus says, it is not possible that He is casting out the demon in the name of Satan for that would be a civil war.
That would be internal conflict in the kingdom of Satan and when that happens, a divided household will collapse upon itself.
We do see today, how weak a country becomes isn’t it when there is internal strife. Think of the civil wars in the US and tribal conflicts in African continent. Even the conflict currently in certain countries in the region.
Secondly, in v19, Jesus throws back the question to them. There are others who also cast out demons, are they also doing so in the name of Beelzebul? It can’t be right? That’s absurd.
No, Jesus is the stronger man that has come to defeat Satan in his domain here on earth. And that is what v21 and 22 is saying.
The kingdom of God has penetrated into time and space and it is now attacking and overcoming the kingdom of Satan.
Jesus says it is by the ‘finger of God’ that He cast out demons. This phased is first used in Exodus by the Egyptian magicians.
Ex 8:18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
The finger of God is exclaimed by the magicians when they could not replicate the 3rd plague that Moses did. So, this expression means the power of God over all creation.
During this period June to Aug, a significant battle was fought on the shores of Normandy in France. This was 78 years ago. And it begun with the D-Day landing on 6 June 1944.
The D-Day landings on Normandy beaches was very significant. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
Remember what Jesus said to the 72 when they came back from their mission?
Lk 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Theophilus, Luke is saying, with the arrival of Jesus, God’s kingdom is advancing. With the casting out of demons, Jesus is attacking. This is the beginning of the end of Satan.
To this wonderful understanding of deliverance, Jesus adds a warning in v24 to 26. Don’t underestimate how devious and wicked demons are. Demons love to make their homes in human beings. They are always on the lookout to wreak havoc.
And so one commentator says “Simply because a demon is cast out of a man does not mean he is beyond danger from evil … No one, then dare try to exist in some bland neutrality. A spiritual vacuum unfilled with commitment to Jesus is leaving itself open to utter spiritual ruin.”
In today’s context, I submit, we have to also be discerning when it comes to New Thought and New Age Spirituality. People speak about not being religious but spiritual.
And we need to be careful of their practices like meditation, channeling, crystals, mysticism, and astrology.
This morning, may we realize anew that Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
But at the same time be encouraged that in Christ Jesus, He is the stronger man who has overcome Satan.
And to the warning of the destructive nature of demons, may we therefore heed
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.