Luke 11:14-23: Whose Side Are You On?
Imagine being raised in a religion where you were taught that you were right and everyone else was wrong; you are God’s people and everyone else is of the devil; and you have the truth and everyone else believes lies. Then suddenly someone comes along and turns your world upside down and you too are wrong, you too are of the devil, and you too have believed lies. This is the situation we are facing in the next section of Luke which focuses on Jesus conflict with the people and the religious leaders. There are only two sides, those for God and those for the devil; only two kingdoms, those in God’s kingdom and those in satan’s; only two choices, either Jesus is the Messiah or He is not; and there are only two places to stand, for or against Him.
In the section before us you will notice that Jesus conflict with the crowd is intensifying. He gets accused of healing by the power of satan, but Jesus calls them out and forces them to decide whether the Kingdom of God is here; whether He is the Messiah; and whether they are for or against Him. This heightened sense of conflict forces one to decide, whose side are you on? In V24 Jesus characterises their religion, the legalistic moralism of the day, as nothing more than a swept house for satan; in v27-28 we see Him challenging their view of religion that lacks obedience to God’s word; in 29-32 He calls evil the generation that will not believe His miracles and demands further signs; in v33 He challenges those who want to follow Him in a quiet and timid fashion; in v37-52 Jesus goes head to head with the Pharisees and the lawyers pronouncing woes upon them and look at v53-54, ‘As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.’
The truth offends and divides, and we must choose. So as we go through this conflict we will note the accusations that Jesus is healing by the power of satan; then secondly, Christ’s response exposing their claims to be illogical, inconsistent and ignorant; and finally we will close with the ultimatum, the challenge that Christ levels.