Wednesday, June 13Scripture Reading—Luke 11:14-28
You can feel the tension in this text. Jesus is challenged by the religious leaders because he casts a demon out of a mute person. He brings healing and new life to someone and is not thanked or praised, but criticized and threatened. He is compared to the devil himself, but insists that he’d come to conquer the evil one. How could he possibly be in cahoots with him? We often find that robust efforts to do good are met with strong opposition. When the church has spoken out against racism, intolerance, greed, or war and tried to proclaim and work for a world more in line with kingdom principles, it often meets strong opposition—from within and without. But Jesus will not be deterred. His presence brings healing, life, and wholeness to people and societies. It instigates a crisis of sorts, for if he is indeed sent from God, then God’s kingdom has come near. And those who witness the signs of the kingdom are forced to make a choice—to accept or reject Jesus’ offer of wholeness and health along with his attempts to subdue and eradicate evil. What happened to the characters in this story? Did the mute allow his life to be transformed by Jesus’ gift of healing, or did he allow himself to be gripped by other demons? Did the religious leaders all persist in their rejection of the possibility that God was present in Jesus, or did some of them finally humbly acknowledge that God’s rule over all things had come to them in Jesus? How do we respond when we recognize Jesus’ presence in our world challenging evil in its many forms and offering new life to any who will receive it?
Thought for the day: Jesus’ presence brings healing to the broken and challenges evil in all its forms. How do we respond?
Prayer: O God, thank you that in Jesus, you come to do away with all those things that inhibit fullness of life for all of God’s children. Help us to join Jesus in standing against every force that resists God’s reign, even when doing so makes us uncomfortable. Amen.