“Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marvelled. But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons.’” (Luke 11:14-15)
Do you want to succeed in life? Then be a truthful person. Be courageous to face the truth no matter how painful it may be. On the other hand, do not rush to believe everything you hear without first trying to find out if it is true.
The healing of the man in today’s Gospel passage was a clear confirmation that God has come in the midst of men and that the words of Jesus regarding His identity are true. However, some persons tried to twist the truth; they started spreading a rumour that Jesus was casting out demons by the prince of demons. One would wonder what these liars and rumour mongers were hoping to gain in castigating Jesus.
It is very sad how we who claim to be children of God, (we who say we are Christians; followers of Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life), would be aware of the truth yet would still turn around to lie or spread false unverifiable rumours.
Growing up I was told: “Say the truth and shame the devil.” Do not generate falsehood and do not rush spread gossip especially when they damage other people’s character. Even if these rumours were true, you do not make the world a better place by announcing evil. Lies are bad. Lies can destroy.
Upon hearing the rumour about him, Jesus was amazed at their reasoning and asked how can a kingdom be divided against itself and still hope to succeed? Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place at the same time. When the light comes, darkness must go because the light is stronger than darkness.
Jesus explains his ability to cast our demons saying: “When a strong man (referring to satan), fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he (that is, Jesus) assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.” (Luke 11:21-22). In other words, there are two separate kingdoms here. Satan may appear strong but Jesus is stronger! Power pass power.
Just as there are two separate kingdoms, we cannot belong to both at the same time. Just as satan cannot cast out satan, we cannot claim to belong to Jesus and still be involved in falsehood. We are either children of God or agents of darkness. Hence, Jesus concluded today saying: “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23).
We may claim to be Christians, we may even hold high positions in the Church but with falsehood still reigning in our lives, we are acting against Christ and scattering the flock of God’s kingdom.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me remain committed to the truth. Amen.
Bible Study: Jer. 7:23-28, Ps. 95:1-2,6-9, Luke 11:14-23).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu