Matthew 12:38-45; Luke 11:24-36 — When we refuse to invite the Spirit in

With Jesus condemning the Pharisees for saying that he was casting out demons by Satan’s power, the Pharisees then demanded a sign from heaven to prove he was doing it by God’s power.  Of course, even had he done so, they still wouldn’t have believed, so Jesus refused.

How do I know they wouldn’t have believed?  Because while he refused to give them a sign right then and there, he did give them a sign to watch for, the sign of Jonah.  And he told them just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and nights and came out, so would the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth, and come out.  This of course was referring to Jesus’ death and resurrection.  But when Jesus rose from the dead, the Pharisees still hardened their hearts and refused to believe.

So again, Jesus condemned their hardness of heart.  He told them that the people of Ninevah and the queen of the South (the queen of Sheba) would stand in judgment over them because when they heard the message of Jonah and Solomon, they turned to God.  But now Jesus, who was greater than Jonah or Solomon, was here, and they refused to believe.

He then gave an illustration of what would happen if they refused to believe in him and rejected the gift of the Spirit that he would later give all believers.

When Jesus came to this earth, he overcame the powers of hell, and among other things cast out demons.  But he warned the Pharisees and all Israel, “Though I cast out demons and overcome the powers of hell, though I set all in order in preparation for the gift of the Spirit to come in, if you refuse him, then the powers of hell will return in force and your spiritual state will be worse than ever.”

Why?  Because you’ve tasted the power of God in your life, you’ve come into contact with the only one who can save you, and you rejected him.

He then brings back in illustration from the Sermon on the Mount where he talks about how our eyes are the lamp of our body.  Here I think he’s talking as much of our spiritual eyes as our physical ones.  And he’s saying, “Are you really seeing?  When God speaks, can you see the truth he is giving?  When you look at me, do you see me for who I am?”

If you do, Jesus says you will be full of light.  But if not, you will be filled with darkness.  So he warns,

See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.   (Luke 11:35)

How about you?  Have you put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  Have you invited the Spirit into your life?  If you harden your heart towards God, you leave yourself vulnerable to Satan’s destructive work in your life.  But if you soften your heart and let the Spirit in, you’ll find life.

All you have to do is pray.

Jesus I believe that you are God, that you died on the cross for my sin, and that you rose again.  Now forgive my sin, and be my Lord.  Holy Spirit, come and fill me.  Fill my life with your light so that others may see you in me.  In Jesus name, amen.




About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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