Scripture: Luke 11:14-26
Key verse: (16) Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
Reflection: This casting-out episode takes place after Jesus has taught the disciples about prayer, but there is no indication how long after. Quite possibly, the inclusion of this story after a lesson on prayer, may indicate and reinforce the confidence we can have in prayer. Demons are supernatural beings and can be quite frightening to humans. However, God can cast out demons by God’s finger, indicating light work for the Almighty One, the Creator of all things. But what can be more frightening is our human tendency to doubt — even when seeing miracles with our own eyes.
As soon as Jesus casts out the mute demon, the man possessed regains his ability to speak. The crowd marveled, and they were amazed. Yet, some questioned and even accused Jesus of healing in the name of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Those accusers couldn’t believe what was happening, so they accused to disparage Jesus with the claim he sided with Satan. They demanded another sign to prove Jesus was from God. All the signs they have already witnessed — calming the seas, healing the diseased, curing the sick, raising the dead — were not enough proof for this crowd. They wanted, even needed, a bigger sign, a sign from heaven.
After I see someone do a card trick, my first request is “Do it again” as if I will be able to catch the illusions and not be fooled once more. This is our human reaction to many things that amaze us. We need affirmation and confirmation to believe. What miracles have you overlooked recently? I wonder what miraculous events we witness on a daily basis go unnoticed due to our lack of belief or faith. Doubt is a tricky thing to navigate when we experience something beyond our understanding. God’s hand is at work everywhere and it is up to us to open our eyes, and our hearts, to recognize it. You might be amazed at all the amazing miracles that happen right in front of us.
Prayer: Open my eyes, O Lord, to see your wondrous works. Open my heart, O Lord, to believe in your mighty hand. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray to see. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].