Jesus makes an incredibly clear and succinct statement today about who he is and what the gift is that he brings. This is an easy thing to miss amidst all of the other things he says in this response to being accused that his ability to cast out demons comes from Beelzebul. He talks about the devastation that comes from division within a house; and the source of power that exorcists use; and strong men being fought and conquered by stronger men; and how an unclean spirit that has been cast out cannot return to a clean and swept home alone, but will return with seven more and ruin that house. All rather difficult things to hear and decipher.
But buried in the middle of all that harangue directed at unbelievers is this phrase: But if it is by the finger of God that I cast our demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. Believe it, the kingdom of God is announced unequivocally today. God's finger is touching these people Jesus is healing. That was a hard thing for people to believe and understand when Jesus was walking this earth. It is just as hard, if not harder, today.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons it is so hard for so many to announce to friends, work-mates, the world in general, that they are church-goers, that they are Christian. I think it is okay and normal to have questions and doubts and concerns and to have difficulty believing. But Jesus is asking us to do just that: believe it, God's finger is supporting Jesus, is bringing God's kingdom to us, here and now. That same finger can and does support us to continue Jesus' work. Will things be easy? Nope. Will things be immediately crystal clear? Nope. Will our lives be transformed if we follow Jesus? Yup, absolutely. In ways unimaginable.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.