Prepare to Listen. As you wait in silence and stillness, pray: Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Prayerfully Read Luke 11:14-23
14Now 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. 15But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.’ 16Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. 17But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. 18If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. 22But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. 23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Jesus cast out a mute demon and the person could finally speak. The speaking amazed some, others questioned the source of Jesus’ power, and others demanded “a sign from heaven.” Jesus refused to reveal his source of power and ignored the demand for a sign. Instead, he made them think, mocking their accusations. It’s nonsensical, he implied, to presume that the prince of demons, Beelzebul, would turn on its own demons and risk the fall of its kingdom. And why would they accuse Jesus of being in league with the devil and not accuse their own Jewish exorcists? Their accusation was groundless.
Then came the challenge: “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” Jesus’ Jewish audience would associate the finger of God with their scriptures where it is used to refer to two things. First, the exodus from Egypt, when Pharaoh's magicians saw Moses’ superior power as, “the finger of God!” And second with the law, the tablets of stone that were “written with the finger of God.” Jesus has equated his power with God’s power to redeem from slavery and authority to give the Law. It’s an indirect claim that he’d come to institute a new exodus with a new authority and therefore the kingdom of God had come to them. Either they joined him, or they’d be scattered.
How do you think you’d respond if you were a witness of this exorcism? Where do you see the finger of God, signs of God’s kingdom among us today? Live into that.
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus, help me discern what truly is the finger of God and not merely the power and influence of some charismatic leader so that I follow faithfully your way, not my own or another’s way. Amen.
Live obediently. Discern the finger of God in the world today.
 Exodus 8:19; Exodus 31:18 and Deuteronomy 9:10.
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.