Sermons

Summary: Jesus is accused of being satanic

23. Who is Jesus?

February 06th, 2010

A House Divided

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He made angels who are spiritual beings designed to serve, worship, and carry out the commands God. One of those created angels decided he did not like his lot, being subject to his creator, and he led a rebellion against God in which one third of the other angels joined with him. They lost the battle and were cast from heaven and have been causing problems ever since. Satan was there in the garden to deceive Adam and Eve and corrupt God’s perfect creation. The angels who sided with Satan are now known as demons. They are spiritual creatures who live to bring suffering to men in an effort to lead us away from God.

We are in Luke 11:14 were we meet this man who is suffering from demonic possession. We have Jesus vs. Satan in a clash of the titans match. Throughout Jesus ministry we see demonic forces at work in the world around Him. There is a war around us: an epic battle between two kings. On one side you have the creator God. He is good, powerful, loving, truthful, and gracious. On the other side you have the devil king who is called in Scripture the king of this world. He is evil, powerful, not so powerful as God but more powerful than you, hateful, lying, manipulative, deceitful, and destructive. Jesus ministry shows us a glimpse of this war that surrounds us.

When Jesus was running around performing miracles in Northern Israel in the boondocks He was dangerous but could be ignored. His miracles could be credited to a superstitious audience who wouldn’t really know better, or that over time they were exaggerated. Now that Jesus has arrived in Judea He is doing a lot of the same things and it is no longer possible for the religious leaders to deny the great things miracles that Jesus has done. Like the crowds they have now seen them with their own eyes. As such they are faced with two choices: since they can longer deny His power they will either admit that Jesus power comes from God and submit themselves to His Lordship, unlikely, or they try to accuse Him of having demonic power and thus remove their need to follow Him. This is a serious accusation. They are accusing Jesus of being Satanic.

Lk 11:14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. Lk 11:15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Lk 11:16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

The demon wasn’t mute, the demon made the man he was possessing mute. This guy is a victim of the spiritual war and his spiritual condition is manifested in physical ways. Notice who is telling us this story: it is Luke, who is a doctor. As such he is reasonable and well educated. If this were a cheap parlor trick, Luke is the guy would figure it out. This guy didnt just burn his tongue on his morning coffee.

The spiritual world can affect the physical one. What we don’t see can affect what we do. It like wind, we cant see it but we can certainly see its effects. That doesn’t mean we shut off our brains when a reasonable solution is available it should be considered. Yet we must remember that while there is always a reason, that reason may not be discernible in this life. Sometimes what a person with physical symptoms needs is not a physical healing but a spiritual one. Notice Jesus didn’t give the man a healing He cast the demon and when the demon left the man’s physical symptoms went with it.

It is pretty impressive. As such people start talking. They start trying to reason how it was possible for Jesus to do this? Some come along and play the role of judge. Casting out the demon is great but we are not sure that makes Him God, but they want to see more: Jesus, born of a virgin, heals the sick, calms storms, raises the dead, feeds crowds with a sack lunch, even turns water into wine, not only is He powerful but He is the life of a party. There is more than enough evidence. Their hearts are hard so they demand Jesus perform more tricks for them. They want to see more signs, more wonders, but always more. Nothing Jesus does will ever be enough for them. You probably know something like this, maybe it’s you. If Jesus really is God, I want to see it for myself. Jesus needs to do something, to give me a sign so I can know He is real. You are not the judge and Jesus is not a cheap entertainer. This is not American Idol. Jesus is who He is. What you think of Him does not change that reality. If after investigating the gospels and seeing all the things Jesus did you still do not believe He is who He says He is, then no amount of miracles or signs are going to prove that to you. This is a cowardly rejection of Jesus. Then there are some who say: well Jesus is obviously powerful but how do we know He is good? Maybe He is Beelzebub. The name Beelzebub goes back to the Old Testament times, it was a name given to the pagan god of the Philistine city of Ekron. His name means "Lord of the flies" catchy, he was considered to be either Satan himself, or the prince of demons, Satan’s right hand man. There is a certain hierarchy in the spiritual world. It seems that demons have different powers and abilities almost like people they are diverse. They can affect the world we live in and even perform counterfeit miracles as signs of their authority. You have to wonder of the 'gods' of the Greeks and other world religions are not just demons taking on the name of a deity so as to lead people astray. Religion and spirituality without Jesus is just demon worship.

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