Eyes Open to the Light

Many who know a little bit about Christ hold an opinion of Him as a gentle philosopher and poet. He came to show love and bring people together. All of those things are accurate, but they don’t reflect the whole truth about Him.

Do you see Jesus as a great unifier? Was this His real reason for coming to earth?

We understand that one of the names attached to Him is the “Prince of Peace.” However, He testified of Himself that He wasn’t on earth to bring peace. Rather, He said that He came as a sword (see Matthew 10:34).

The activity of Jesus and the declaration He made about Himself revealed Him as a force of division. Once the Savior is encountered, once His salvation is made known, decisions have to be made.

The choice is simple:  Are you for Him or against Him? Neutrality won’t do when it comes to what we think about the Christ. Either we believe that He is who He said He is, or we don’t.

This tension creates conflict. We see this in Luke 11.

Jesus casts out a demon and sets someone free from the torment they had endured for who knows how long. One dumb is made to speak. Cause for celebration, right? Hell was dealt a defeat — in front of a crowd no less.

There should have been cheers. Honors and praises should have been heaped upon the Son.

Instead, the religious leaders turned the moment into one of accusation. They cast Jesus as being in league with the devil. They surmised that His power to dismiss unclean spirits was one He got from Beelzebub, a title that means lord of the flies.

Hardened Denial

This slander, Jesus did not leave unanswered. He at once trained His fire on His accusers. He spoke of the evil at work in them. These ones baited Jesus, demanding that He show them signs and wonders. He said that only “adulterous generations” seek such proofs for God.

The Son had just revealed something of Himself there. He exercised His authority to set at liberty a captive. But signs of power never really count for much to hardened hearts. People see and say “Wow” and then soon forget what they saw.

We can read of the stubborn and stiff-necked ways of the children of Israel in the wilderness. See Exodus and Numbers and note how the people quickly forgot how the Lord had set them free from their enslavement from Egypt. He ruined an empire with plagues and prescribed the Passover to preserve His people from the power of death.

The dismissal of this wondrous work in Luke 11 was just another in a long line of God-denials. They saw, they heard, and yet they refused to side with Him.

Still, the Lord’s heart remains set upon them. The Savior came as the Son of David, he who was the shepherd and anointed king stands among the most glorious heroes in Hebrew history.

Unbelief is one thing, but to label Jesus as one the devil’s tools was taking matters into dangerous territory. The Savior was clear about it, too.

Unbelief is one thing, but to label Jesus as one the devil’s tools was taking matters into dangerous territory. Click To Tweet

This kind of slander and evil speaking was a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The rejection of this Person of the Godhead was unpardonable.

Unpardonable — such a strong word, this is. Does Jesus mean that some things can never be forgiven? Isn’t the Lord the God of all mercies? He is. However, some actions set in motion irreversible sequences of consequence.

This can stir confusion if we fail to see the context. Jesus was talking to the religious leaders and about their precious city of Jerusalem with its sacred space, the Temple. Their blasphemy put their religious system and all that went with it under the cycle of judgment.

The Lamb of God had come to them and they failed to see this. The Spirit touched people and many responded and became Christ’s disciples.

Others — such as these argumentative leaders — proved to be hard, bitter, envious, and hateful. In essence, they responded as Pharaoh did when he was asked to let God’s people go.

The rejection of the Son, which was climaxed in His execution on the Cross, set in motion a prophetic determination. Within 40 years, the holy city would be in ruins and the people scattered, its Temple ransacked, destroyed, and buried under rubble.

Jesus forecast that no stone related to Jerusalem would be left in place (see His discourse in Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21). There was nothing to be done to stop this judgment spurred by the rejection of Him. They refused, as described in Luke 19, to comprehend the nature of God’s visitation and embrace the Person who is peace, the One who is all Shalom, total wholeness, and true holiness.

Empty Houses

Jesus addressed His accusers and employed simple logic to decimate their argument. Can a house divided stay standing? He asked. If Satan is at war with Satan, then his whole operation would soon fall apart.

He made the claim that the finger of God was at work. The Kingdom and the King had come and the accusers could not recognize this reality. The Queen of Sheba and the residents of Nineveh knew the Voice of God when they heard it and they believed and honored Him.

Jesus made it clear that these believers would shame them for their unbelief. The Son, He said, is greater than the prophet Jonah and greater than King Solomon.

The passage goes on to reveal what was really wrong with these so-called experts in the truth taught by Moses.

Their problem was one of clouded vision. Their eyes were not single and focused on the purpose of God.

And because they refused to see Him for who He is, they were the ones under demon influence. He chided them and spoke of the woes related to their hearts, which He defined as houses that seemed so clean and orderly, but were in fact vacant and open to hell’s squatters.

They lacked the Presence for God. They never allowed themselves to be made full of the Word and the Spirit. They dismissed the Message that had come to them from above.

Envy rotted these leaders. Jesus had shown them so much and so many were hearing Him gladly. Their whole lifestyle was at risk as they saw it, so all they could do was target and attack the Messenger.

Envy rotted these leaders. Jesus had shown them so much and so many were hearing Him gladly. Their whole lifestyle was at risk as they saw it, so all they could do was target and attack the Messenger. Click To Tweet

The word picture of the heart house is presented in Proverbs, a collection of sayings written by, surprise, Solomon. Wisdom as defined in that Old Testament book furnishes us inwardly; we have a soul structure available to the Light of God as He communicates it (see Proverbs 24:4-6).

These religious leaders were squinting people. They trained their eyes in narrowness related to the traditions they’d developed and in so doing obscured the supreme issues of justice and love.

The ordinances crafted and enforced by these rulers left people burdened and locked out of what should have been a joyous relationship with God. The progression of this system led to the persecution and the slaying of prophets.

Soon Jesus would join those martyrs in death.

These men possessed the Word that set people free — the Word that could fill them and give them true liberty. They held the key, but they hindered worship with their actions.

These were empty people. Some may have been capable of cleaning up themselves in their own strength. They could make fair show with their flesh. But if He is not present within them all is emptiness and vanity.

Hear and Keep the Word

Jesus revealed the better way. The secret to the life of faith is to let in the Light.

Right in the midst of this passage, we read of a woman who just had to give a shout out to Jesus’ mother:  “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed! But He said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!’” (Luke 11:27-28).

His mother Mary, as we know from the Christmas story, did hear the Word and she let it be done unto her according to it. All who hear and keep the Word are blessed in Him.

Let the lamp of the Word shine brightly in you. No lamp works when it’s hidden under a basket. The rooms of our hearts need illumination and the furnishings supplied by the Spirit.

Let your eye be single. Seek the Lord and His righteousness. Your soul structure shall become Spirit-ordered and its rooms full.

Your heart can be a place of rest, joy, and connection. Hear the Word and hold on to it. Take the Scriptures and feed on them every day.

This manner of concentration takes some work, but we can do it. God sent the Spirit to guide us into all Truth. Little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept. Hear and believe; and when you have trouble believing, believe that He will help your unbelief.

God is with us. We won’t be left forsaken and forgotten. He stays true because He bought us to make us one with Him.

Steve Andrulonis
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