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The Astonishing Miracles of Jesus and their source Luke 11:14 - 23

March 1, 2020 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 11:14–11:23

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Luke 11:14 - 23

14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was dumb; and it came about that when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 16 And others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. 18 “And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 “And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. 20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed; 22 but when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied, and distributes his plunder. 23 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

As different lines in the sand get drawn between the secular world and the body of believers who truly know and are in Christ, those who know the Father intimately by the regeneration of the indwelling Spirit, those who are believers in the efficacy of the finished work of Christ at the cross, and those outside, who do not believe, one of the lines in the sand so to speak that makes the world the angriest is the exclusivity of our claims.

We believe, and Jesus said it in John 14:6;  I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  We believe that the only way for forgiveness and life with the Creator, and ultimately, heaven, is by believing in the risen Christ.  Jesus makes that claim of exclusivity in our passage this morning.

That kind of exclusivity makes the onlooking world exhibit what we in our modern vernacular we might say is a derangement syndrome.  No amount of argument or truth or logic or reasonableness or miracles or anything else, even rising from the dead, can make the world believe.  That's because they are locked down in unbelief by a derangement syndrome.  

In our passage this morning, Jesus makes that claim of exclusiveness.  In vs. 23 Jesus clearly states that the entire world is divided into just 2 single groups.  Only 2.  Nothing in the middle.  There are 2 distinct groups of people in the world, the rescued and the lost, and unfortunately, since we didn't choose our parents well, we are born into the wrong group.  Listen to vs. 23;

23 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

That is total exclusivity.  Two kingdoms.  The authority to reign of Satan.  That is the group that every person is born into.  And the kingdom of God.  The authority to reign of God.  Those who have come out of Satan's kingdom and into Jesus kingdom.  Those who He says are with Me.  

Those who are owned by and under the rule of Jesus.  Those who gather with Him.  We gather others into the Kingdom of God with the gospel, the good news.  And all the rest.  Just two possible groups.  With Him, or against Him.  No other choices.

To ignore Jesus, to just go about your business and never give Jesus another thought, is to remain in the group that is this world, the fallen sinful world you were born into.  Just two groups.  With Jesus, or against Jesus.  You don't have to be a Satan worshipper to be against Jesus.  All you have to do is ignore Him and remain in this condemned world.

We're going to see that illustrated boldly by this story and teaching in Luke 11 this morning.  Jesus is going to clearly and simply explain with logic why their conclusion is impossible, and wrong, and they aren't going to hear a word of it.  Madness has begun.

We have those same folks today.  They hate Jesus and they don't want to be confused by logic or insurmountable evidence.  Their mind is made up.  Don't confuse me with the facts.  And mostly the others who never give Jesus a thought.  They feel no emotion about sin or judgement.  

A little background on our section of scripture this morning.  We are in the final 6 moths of Jesus earthly ministry.  In chapter 9 vs. 51 of Luke's gospel it says;  51 And it came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem;

We are in that final phase of teaching as His death approaches.  Now Matthew and Mark both record a very similar occasion to what we'll see this morning but the occasion of their stories takes place in the wheat fields of Galilee.

This is a different time and place with an almost identical set of circumstances.  But it shows us that the answer given has been the party line of the scribes and pharisee's for almost 3 years.  His powers come from Satan.

14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was dumb;

The story line here has no build up.  Luke presents this as though it was the most ordinary thing in the world.  And we believe it probably was.  As Jesus walks through the world, the miracles stack up daily in such numbers, as John said, I suppose all the books in the world couldn't contain them all.  This is routine.  If you're the Son of God walking around in Satan's world, this is routine.

Luke's method isn't about the miracle.  At this point it's almost hum drum.  Miracles and healings are a daily thing with Jesus.  They're walking along and a man who is possessed by a demon that has rendered him deaf and dumb enters the scene and Jesus cast's out the demon.  

Before Jesus, that would have been the most astonishing and astounding miracle ever seen or recorded since creation.  At this point, it's just a matter of course.  And he was casting out a demon and it was dumb.

In the earlier similar story in Matthew and Mark's gospels the man is also blind.  Here as far as recorded, the man is deaf and dumb.  He can't speak.  And Jesus orders the demon to come out of him.

and it came about that when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke;

Like all of Jesus miracles, there is no need for restorative therapy sessions after the healing.  The man didn't have to learn to talk.  It's just a word from Jesus, the demon comes out, and the man is restored to his normal state.  That quick.  The dumb man spoke.

We don't know if he was deaf and dumb his entire life.  Perhaps he never spoke before.  It doesn't tell us, but what it does tell us is the the multitudes present were astonished by the miracle.  It says;  and the multitudes marveled.

In the scripture record, the only record of it's kind with attendant miracles, it's the miracles during a time frame that let the people present know, God is doing something new.

Moses did miracles during the time frame of the giving of the law, and the writing of the first 5 books of scripture, the pentateuch.  Then there are miracles during the era of the prophets, at the beginning.  

Those time frames and miracles were just a handful of recorded miracles, but they were enough that we know God was in whatever it was that was taking place.  The law and the prophets.

In the story we'll see where the rich man goes to hell and begs Abraham to send someone back to tell his brothers, if someone goes back from the dead, they'll listen then, and Abraham says;  They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.  Moses and the prophets are the two times miracles set the words apart.  We believe, partly, because of attendant miracles.

Jesus, on the other hand did astonishing miracles all the time.  The evidence supported by miracles is off the charts by comparison to the old testament miracles.  

That was Israels' first clue.  God is in this.  Messiah has come.  More miracles in a day than in all of the old testament combined.  Jesus casts out a demon, the dumb man speaks, and the multitude marveled.  

And there-in lies a problem for the religious aristocracy in Jerusalem.  The high mucky muck's of the false religion of Judah desperately want to hold onto their power base.  They have rejected Jesus.  But He keeps doing astonishing miracles.  They need an answer and their answer at this point has become the party line.  Actually it's the only answer that is possible for them to give considering the massive onslaught of the evidential proof of the miracles.

and the multitudes marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

No one denies the miracles.  They are undeniable.  It took 18 centuries for us to get dumb enough to go down that road.  To say the miracles are just old wives tales.  Just salted and peppered into the rest of the false narrative by trickster disciples.  That would have never flown at the time.

The miracles are real, and the evidence is before our eyes.  The jewish aristocracy, the rulers of Israel, the scribes and pharisees who want to retain control over the regular citizens have to come up with an explanation.  How can this man do these un-deniable miracles?

This had become their party-line answer.  Yes, He does marvelous miracles, but his power source is Satan.  This man is in cahoots with Satan.  It's Satan's power that causes Him to be able to do miracles.

And unable to cover up their hatred and loathing for Him, they call Satan by an old testament title, Beelzebul.  Beelzebul.  It was a term for Satan that literally meant, the lord of the flies.  The magot god.  The lord of the dung.

The miracles don't prove anything.  All it proves is that this man is in direct cahoots with Satan.  The god of the dung.  That's who Jesus is.  Yeah, He does miracles all right.  The source of the power is Satan.

That was all they had.  That was the best they could do.  Because the miracles were constant and undeniable.  And they had one more trick up their sleeve.  

16 And others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven.

This is their follow-up line of not believing and convincing the ordinary folks to also not believe.  It's as if they're saying;  we're not buying into your wimpy dung god miracles, you're going to have to do something cataclysmic for us to believe.

Joel 2:30 said;  “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

This theme runs throughout the old testament prophets, and it signals the coming of Messiah in triumphant judgement;  Listen to the prophets;

Isaiah 13:9,10
Behold, the Day of the LORD is coming--cruel, with fury and burning anger--to make the earth a desolation and to destroy the sinners within it.  10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light. The sun will be darkened when it rises, and the moon will not give its light.

Isaiah 34:4
All the stars of heaven will be dissolved. The skies will be rolled up like a scroll, and all their stars will fall like withered leaves on the vine, and foliage on the fig tree.

Jeremiah 4:28
Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark. I have spoken, I have planned, and I will not relent or turn back.

Ezekiel 32:7
When I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light.

Joel 2:1,2
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming; in fact, it is at hand--2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like the dawn overspreading the mountains a great and strong people appears, such as never was of old, nor will ever be in ages to come.

Joel 2:10,11
Before them the earth quakes; the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness.  11 The LORD raises His voice in the presence of His army. Indeed, His camp is very large, for mighty are those who obey His command. For the day of the LORD is great and very dreadful. Who can endure it?

Joel 3:15
The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine.

Zechariah 14:6
On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost.

This is the party line for the ruling aristocracy jewish leaders in Jerusalem. They have to have a reason, an argument for rejecting Jesus as messiah with all the evidence of all of the continuing powerful miracles that only God could do.

This is their reasoning for the common folks.  Yes, He does miracles, but we're not buying what He's selling.  The miracles he's doing are not from God as the source, they are from Satan, the dung god, Beelzebub. That's his source.

If he were Messiah we would see the signs in the sky that the prophets foretold.  And then they taunt Jesus.  Turn the lights out Jesus.  If you're the messiah, turn the moon to blood.  Turn the stars off.  Cast a few to earth.  Show us the signs in the sky that the prophets foretold.

You rascal, claiming to be God, how 'bout turning the sun off.  Hide the moon and the stars Jesus.  We won't believe because of the evidence of the miracles.  And they taunt Him.  I hope their skin crawled when, up on the cross, God turned out the lights for 3 hours.  I hope the fear crept into their spineless spines when Jesus did turn out the lights while He was on the cross.

They had made a grave error.  The miracles were the only evidence God was going to graciously give during this visit.  The skies will indeed go dark at the advent of the second coming.  Every word of those prophecies remains to come true.  

The massive miracles, more astounding than a thousand Moses's and Elijah's and Elisha's was God's sign to Israel that His Son was in the world.  And because of their wicked hard hearts, the blew it off.  He's just doing it in cahoots with Satan.  How dreadful!  The evidence was overwhelming, and yes, Satan, the dung god was in fact at work, blinding their unbelieving wicked evil hearts to the truth.

Jesus responds to them with un-assailable logic.  Their logic was false.  His logic is un-arguable.  Listen to Him as He graciously responds, pleading with them to re-consider their evil mistake.

17 But He knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. 18 “And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.

We spoke in the beginning about 2 groups, 2 kingdoms.  The kingdom of God, and the kingdom of Satan.  Jesus says; You guys have got Satan doing battle with Satan!  How's that going to work.  Your logic is flawed.  In fact it's ridiculous.  Satan isn't at war with himself.  Satan doesn't cast out Satan!

Next argument;  
19 “And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges.

Nobody's arguing that He didn't cast out a demon.  He did.  They're arguing about the power source.  And Jesus says, If I did it by Beelzebul, tell me how your jewish exorcist's do it.  

The jews were aware of Satan and the demons.  They had exorcisms.  Real or phony, it would be hard to say.  But in Acts 19 we run into this exact thing.  Jewish exorcists.  Sceva and his seven sons at your service.  Demon exorcisms for hire.  

And Paul was having a lot of success casting out demons in the name of Jesus.  So, Sceva, good pragmatist that he was, if the name of Jesus is working we'll work with that.  So the seven sons of Skeva are casting out demons in Jesus name, and the demon says, Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you??

What're you trying to pull.  You don't have the power over demons that Jesus has, and Paul since he's with Jesus in His kingdom, also has.  Who do you figure you are.  Throwing names around with no connection to the power behind those names.  And the demon possessed man attacked all 7 sons with superhuman strength and they barely made it out of that house, naked.

So Jesus second logic point is;  You hypocrites.  If I'm the devil, casting out devil's who are your sons??  How are they doing it??  Why haven't you charged them with casting out Satan by Satan?

And then finally, this last logic that should have made them shudder;
20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

That reference to the finger of God should have sent a chill down their spines.  Way back in Exodus 8, Moses and Aaron bring the plague of the insects;

16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.’” 17 And they did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. 18 And the magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

This is the finger of God say the magicians.  The same finger of God who carved the 10 commandments into stone.  The same finger of God that wrote on the wall while the kings knees knocked together;  You have been weighed in the balance, and found lacking . . .

You will note also that during that incident of a remarkable miracle that the magicians could not duplicate, Pharoh's heart was hardened to dis-belief.  That is what we're seeing here as the finger of God does a remarkable miracle in battle against the kindgom of Satan, and the rulers hearts are hardened.  That's the derangement syndrome I spoke of at the beginning.  These rulers hearts are hardened just like Pharoh of old.  Like a madness.

2 kingdoms.  Two authorities to reign on earth.  Satan's kingdom authority stolen from Adam because Adam and Eve sinned.  And the kingdom of God.  The authority to reign of God, who will in His perfect time destroy Satan and his wicked kingdom and all attendant evil.

Jesus casts out Satan and his demon's by that authority.  His power is the finger of God on display.  Oh foolish scribes and pharisee's.  So power hungry that you see with your eyes the finger of God casting out Satan, and you attribute that power to Satan.  Their logic is absurd, but such is the blindness of sinful men.''

Then Jesus continues the logic with a picture that no one argues with in this dog eat dog world.

21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed; 22 but when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied, and distributes his plunder.

Satan is a strong man guarding his house.  That demon can only get moved by someone stronger than Satan.  Jesus trumps Satan's power.  The demons flee at His command.  A stronger power is at work than all that Satan can deliver.

The story comes to mind of Daniel in chapter 10 praying for understanding and God dispatches an angel to Daniel, and a prince from Satan's forces withstand's the angel for 21 days until re-inforcements arrive and the angelic force is stronger than the Satanic force.

Obviously there is a whole hierarchy of power of the angels and the fallen angels.  Here was a situation where a lesser angel couldn't overcome a stronger fallen angel and Michael the archangel had to come and help him.

Jesus says, it should be obvious to you that a stronger power than Satan had to be in this war.  Satan doesn't go to war with himself.  And Satan only moves along by the authority of a stronger power.  Jesus speaks and the demons flee.  They shriek in fear at first.  Early on He silences them and doesn't allow them to speak and say who He is.  He has total control of them.  He is the ultimate authority in heaven and earth.

And finally in conclusion to this rebuttal of the jews argument that He's doing miracles with power from Satan, He makes the statement that we began with;

23 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

This statement is a final warning to the religious leaders of Israel.  It's very near the end now, and even much earlier in Matthew and Marks account of the scribes and pharisee's and rulers of Israel accusing Jesus of doing miracles by Beelzebub, Satan, the dung god, Jesus tells them they have committed the unpardonable sin.

The unpardonable or unforgiveable sin is this.  If you've had all of the revelation, all of the mountain of evidence, all of the miracles, all of the healing, all of the good, the loving kindness, the grace of Jesus for 3 years, and all you can come up with is; He's the devil . . . then your situation is hopeless.  

You've run out of information.  No more evidence will be given.  You saw it all, you lived it all, or for that matter if you saw and experienced any of it, even a single miracle, and you've not just come up empty, you've concurred that Jesus is the devil, that's it, it's over.

The end is near.  The evidence is complete.  The teaching is irrefutable.  The power has been on display.  Satan and the demons have no resistance against His authority over them.  Their kingdom comes unraveled at the sound of His voice.  That evidence is on display for all to see, and your answer is Jesus is the devil???

That's the end of the line.  There's nothing more to say or do.  They will perish in their derangement.  They have gone mad with their own evil hatred.  It's over for those who have all of the evidence and reject it.

But that truth is not just for these men who are drowning in their own vitriolic hatred for Jesus, their deranged hatred, that truth is equally true for everyone else that hears and sees the evidence and turns aside.  Listen to Jesus words again.

vs. 23  “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

Only two possibilities in this world.  Two warring kingdoms.  Every person is either in one, or the other.  All people are born into the opposing kingdom, born into sin, captured and controlled in sin by Satan, the ruler of this world.  That's the default kingdom.

The gospel, the good news is that rescue is available.  Rescue has been purchased and paid for by the blood of Jesus for your sins.  Redemption from captivity in Satan's kingdom is available for every person who will call out to Jesus for salvation.  “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

Have you come out of the worldly kingdom that you were born into and been regenerated, born again to use Jesus words, into His kingdom.  Do you have the down payment, the Holy Spirit living in you and with you?  Are you "with Christ"  The Holy Spirit does that when we are born again, regenerated, made alive together "with" Christ.  We are quickened from the dead, made alive together with Christ and transferred into His kingdom.  

Anyone who is "with" Christ is also someone who is gathering with Him.  Our business is to share the good news and bring others into Christ's kingdom, and out of Satan's.

This world we live in is condemned.  There is only one path to safety.  Are you "with" Jesus or are you with Satan.  Are you gathering with Jesus into His kingdom?  Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.  

For those of us who have Jesus, living inside our hearts, eternity with Him is guaranteed.  This world is perishing, but we have left this world and joined with Jesus in His kingdom.