What did Jesus mean?


“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

Luke 11:24‭-‬26 NIV

The context

Jesus expelled evil spirits from the people (Jews) who allowed him. It was a right they had as Abraham’s children. But the leading Jews were opposed to this. Their opinion was that he did this by the use of evil powers.

Jesus opposed  this.” If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul.”  

Luke 11:18‭ NIV

The reasoning of the Jews was contradictory. Here there was another and stronger power than Satan who was active. Jesus drove out the evil powers by God’s finger. «But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Luke 11:20‭, ‬29 NIV

(Cf. the phrase the finger of God when Moses confronts Pharaoh in Ex. 2:19)

Is Luke 12:24 – 26 indirectly a warning against expelling evil spirits?

If the condition of the person who has experienced deliverance can ble 7 times worse than before the deliverance – who would then dare to have anything to do with it?

Some warn against the deliverance of evil spirits. They think it is dangerous and refers to vv. 24 – 26. But this is contrary to the practice of both Jesus and the disciples. They used a lot of time to deliver the jews from evil spirits.

A great part of Jesus’ service was healing and deliverance of evil spirits.  The 12 did the same when they were sent out. Likewise, the 70. They also returned with great joy and witnessed that even the evil spirits were obedient to the name of Jesus.

In Mark 16:17 Jesus  says that all christians should be concerned with this. “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; …..”

Mark 16:17 NIV

Please note the wording in vv. 24 – 26. It is not stated here that the evil spirit was driven out. On the other hand, it went out freely.

Evil spirits cannot come and go as they want in the life of a christian. They must have open doors. Such a door may be unforgiveness (e.g). By refusing to forgive another person, a door has been opened where evil spirits can come in and do their (mis)- deeds.

“In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

Matthew 18:34 NIV

Remember Jesus` words: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10‭, ‬20 NIV

The wicked spirits show no mercy. They will refuse to leave such a person unless the person has forgiven and the permission has been canceled. Only then will the demons go and most often they have to be thrown out.

The evil spirits are particularly interested in Christian people. They fight against the kingdom of God. They want to weaken and destroy the Christians so that they will not pose any threat.

In the Bible passage, the doors seems to be wide open. It looks like they have full access if they wish. This is what the text is about. The evil spirit leaves his house voluntarily, but he finds no resting place. He returns and finds the house swept and embellished. Whereupon he goes out and invites seven others who are worse than himself. «..And it gets worse now.»

But the text is also a reminder of the importance of living in the light and under the grace of Jesus Christ.

It is important that we remind each other of this. We need to distance ourselves from the flesh and the devil that lures and tricks us into the path of death. The important reality for a christian is to live in the truth and in the light.  Run to Jesus and his forgiving love if you fall. Then the devil will not get an opening into your life. Keep your doors shut at all times.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 NIV

The forgiveness of sins is a right that God has given us. Jesus died for us to give us this right.

No sin is too big or too «small» for Jesus. He paid for them all with his precious blood.  And He will forgive if we confess them to him.