We’re continuing our study through the Gospel of Luke. In this section, Jesus is explaining some things about demonic activity. It started when the Pharisees accused the Lord of casting out demons by the power of Satan.
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Luke 11:24-26 NIV
Christ gives the Pharisees a stern warning. His ministry was cleaning up Israel. Many of the demonic forces were being expelled as He traveled throughout the land.
But the religious leaders, because of their petty jealousy, were attempting to block what the Lord was doing. He warns them that if they allow the enemy’s kingdom back in, it will be seven times worse.
As Jesus says this, something happens that totally annoys me. Mainly because it’s happened to me while I was teaching. Someone interrupts Him.
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
Luke 11:27 NIV
It’s one thing if someone interrupts with a pertinent question. But, this woman makes a statement that’s simply irrelevant.
Has she not been listening? Is everything that Jesus is saying going straight over her head? I believe that Satan was using her to try and sidetrack Jesus from what He was trying to get across.
I’m glad that Jesus is our example of how to be constantly led by the Holy Spirit. This interruption didn’t even slow Him down. It just gave the Lord an opportunity to make a very important point.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:28 NIV
This is the basis of the Lord’s ministry to Israel. The blessing doesn’t come from simply attending a meeting, no matter how wonderful the speaker is. Many people in Israel were in the crowds that heard the Messiah speak.
Unfortunately, many of them were only excited just to say they saw and heard Jesus. “Yes, I heard Jesus speak when He came through our town. I saw Him heal my friend of blindness. It was so amazing!” They were there, but they didn’t let it affect their lives.
Jesus is telling this crowd that the blessing comes from truly listening to the Word of God that He’s speaking. Then, don’t just let it end there. It needs to be put into practice.
It’s the same with us. Hearing the Word of God in church, on TV, or on the internet isn’t enough. You must allow that Word to change you. It needs to be applied and made a part of your life.
As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
Luke 11:29-32 NIV
Jesus goes on to give a couple of examples. He uses Jonah and Solomon. In both of these cases they were dealing with unspiritual, Gentile, people. Yet, at both times these unbelievers were changed by the Word that they heard.
Don’t miss this great truth. Right now, in the United States, we have access to more of the Word of God than at any other time or place. Yet, much of the church seems oblivious to how they should be living for the Lord.
Allow God’s Word to make a transformation in your life!
Question: How has God’s Word transformed you so far?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi