Summary: The analysis of the source of Jesus' power in Luke 11:14-26 teaches us that Jesus works by God's authority.
Jesus encountered conflict on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem. The conflict that Luke described in Luke 11:14-26 is about the source of Jesus’ power. People wondered whether Jesus was working by the power of God or by the power of Satan.
Let’s read about Jesus and Beelzebul in Luke 11:14-26:
14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:14-26)
Pastor Tim Keller once said that in 1970 a Sunday school teacher changed his life with a simple illustration.
The teacher said, “Let’s assume the distance between the earth and the sun (92 million miles) was reduced to the thickness of this sheet of paper. If that were the case, then the distance between the earth and the nearest star would be a stack of papers 70 feet high. And the diameter of the galaxy would be a stack of papers 310 miles high.”
Then the teacher added, “The galaxy is just a speck of dust in the universe, yet Jesus holds the universe together by the word of his power.”
Finally, the teacher asked her students, “Now, is this the kind of person you ask into your life to be your assistant?”
Obviously, the answer is, “Of course not!” Jesus holds the universe together by the word of his power. He is supremely powerful and he demonstrated that power in his life by the miracles that he did.
People knew that Jesus had astonishing power over diseases, demons, nature, and even death. But, even in Jesus’ day people questioned the source of his power.
The analysis of the source of Jesus’ power in Luke 11:14-26 teaches us that Jesus works by God’s authority.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. The Accusation Against Jesus (11:14-16)
2. The Answer of Jesus (11:17-26)
I. The Accusation Against Jesus (11:14-16)
First, let’s look at the accusation against Jesus.
Luke said in verse 14 that Jesus was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled.
This is one of the shortest miracle stories recorded in the entire Bible. By now it seems that Luke did not think it necessary to give many details to show how Jesus performed these wonderful miracles.
This poor man had been silenced by a demon. He was unable to speak, either to other people or even to God. This was the work of Satan in his life, as commentator David Gooding eloquently states:
This is self-evidently the work of the enemy. . . . If it is God’s desire and design, and man’s chief glory, that he should be the priest of creation and articulate creation’s response to the Creator, that he should talk with God as a son with a father, then it is obvious why it should be of prime strategic importance to the enemy to cripple man’s ability to speak with God, to lock up man’s spirit within himself, and as far as God is concerned to turn this earth into a silent planet.
Satan’s goal is to keep us from communicating meaningfully with each other and especially with God. But, thankfully, Jesus has power to overrule Satan and his goals, which is what he did with the mute man.