Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Luke 11:14-23 (NRSV)
Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Jesus is constantly in the business of dethroning oppressive forces. Whether these forces are people using the Temple as a place of profit, angry men with stones, demonic spirits, or Pharisees scared of losing power, Jesus has little rest in his revolution.
In this passage, Jesus has just freed a man of a demon. As soon as the once-mute man begins to speak, some people in the crowd begin to accuse Jesus of being evil. His response is two-fold, a rebuke of such an absurd claim and a lesson. We must choose, and we must act.
Are we committed to the work of Christ? Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me…” We may respond quickly to this first part of his call, “Yes, Jesus! I am with you!” but the rest requires we follow in his footsteps by seeking justice and freedom from all oppressive forces, “…and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” We are assured that the work of Christ is costly and constantly facing opposition. We are also assured that we are stronger together. Will you choose to gather or scatter?
God of action and freedom, strengthen me to your work. Saving Christ, when it seems like I can’t catch a break, remind me of your story. Keep me empowered through unity with your Spirit. Amen.
Go with God.