Daily Devotion for October 12, 2009
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Adoration
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father,the depth of your wisdom and the riches of your knowledge are unknowable to me. How unsearchable are your judgments; your ways are beyond comprehension. For who knows your mind? Who can claim to know the thoughts of the great and only God? Or who has been your advisor? And who has first given to you, that you are in debt to him? From you and through you and to you are all things. To you be glory forever.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
It's a shame that this rare and rather odd footage is so short, but it is a moving moment of a gospel classic.
Gospel of Matthew 12:22-29
A house divided against itself cannot stand
A man possessed with a demon, blind and mute, was brought to Christ; and he healed him, so that the man could see, and speak. The witnesses were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard about it, they said, "This man cannot cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of the demons."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself cannot stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how could his kingdom exist?"
"If I drive out demons by the power of Beelzebub, by whose power do your sons cast them out? They will be your judges. But if I, by the Spirit of God, cast out demons, then the kingdom of God is upon you. For how can one enter a strong man's house to steal his goods, unless he first ties up the strong man; and then, he can rob his house."
Comment on the Scripture
In this passage, Christ asks questions, and the answers to the questions disprove a contention by reducing it to a contradiction. This is a formal method of argument that scholars generally associate with Greek philosophy. He first shows the logical flaw in a criticism that he was using Beelzebub's power to defeat Beelzebub.
The second question, "by whose power do your sons cast out demons?", is a little hard to follow, and especially the phrase "they will be your judges". (We must remember that we are dealing with an account several thousand years old.) Christ seems to be saying that the Pharisees must admit that their sons are in the service of the prince of demons, if they want to accuse Christ of the same thing. They would then have to admit that their judges were servents of Satan rather than God (and to the ancient Hebrews, a "judge" was even more important than a judge in modern Western civilization, with enormous religious significance). But if they are going to claim that their sons are serving God, they must also admit that Christ's power comes from the Spirit of God. And if Christ is serving God, then they must believe him when he says that the kingdom of God is upon them.
The last analogy, also presented in the form of a rhetorical question, is easy to understand and rather charming. Christ is tying up Satan/Beelzebub, so that he can rob his house; but he isn't stealing gold, but rather men's souls, actual people whom Satan has possessed.