As we continue to live in the post-election grind of constant analysis and ongoing protests, it reminds me of a conversation I had with my neighbor some time ago. He was complaining about politics and politicians and the state of the country. This is a guy I don’t talk to that often but he knows what I do and a little about our church. When he got done with his rant and took a breath, I said to him, “It’s almost like the world needs a Savior.” He said, “Hmm…that’s good.”
How true. The world needs something or somebody different from the leaders it has known. All of the hand wringing flows from a real worry that our present or future leaders might not be up for the job.
In two months, it’s inauguration day. To remove present politics from this, let’s just say it’s a generic president-elect who is being inaugurated. The cameras are rolling. The nation tunes in to watch the spectacle. The new president-elect comes to Washington, D.C. by walking across the Potomac. General Washington needed a boat. Not this president. Before heading to Capitol Hill he strolls through the military hospital restoring soldiers’ lost limbs. He pauses at JFK’s tomb and raises him from the dead. As the rain starts to fall during his inauguration speech, he stops and says, “No rain. I want sun.” And out comes the sun. What happens to the national mood about the new president? Well this president’s a little different from any we’ve had before. We may have ourselves a right fine president. Why? If he does miracles, who must he be?
Let’s talk about miracles and the kingdom of God. The gospels are chock-full of Jesus doing the supernatural. Around one-third of the Gospel of Mark is the record of Jesus’ miracles. Matthew, Luke, and John all give front page to Jesus’ miracles. These include healings of a wide variety of diseases and deformities, altering of what we call the laws of nature to multiply food or walk on water, immediate control over weather and storms, the casting out of demons, and even resurrections from the dead.
“Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:22–28)
Jesus’ opponents could not deny the reality that a supernatural event had taken place. The man was blind and mute but now he sees and talks. The public is whispering, maybe Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah! Since they can’t discredit the miracle, they try and discredit the source of Jesus’ power. It is only by Beelzebul (or Satan) that Jesus does this. Jesus’ response is, why would Satan cast out Satan? That’s illogical.
The key is in verse 28, “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
The only real explanation for Satan’s power over this man being broken is that a new kingdom has come upon you. A new power. A new person. A new king who is greater than Satan is here. The miracle proves it.
 Clinton Arnold, The Kingdom of God, p. 153.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
©2016 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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