Luke 11:29-36: Evil Unbelief

Perhaps you remember what it was like. Before you became a believer you had a certain set of assumptions about faith and God. We were the arbiters of truth and God had to prove Himself to us. We had confidence in our reason; we were fearless in pouring intellectual disdain upon things so much bigger than us; we were assured of the rightness of our aggression against God. The verdict was out on Him not on us, and the burden of proof for His existence was upon Him not us. This impression is prevalent today, unbelief sits in judgement upon God demanding explanations for why bad things happen; self-assured intellects demand better evidences, and that God jump through all the hoops we set for Him; God is portrayed as the one who needs to court us for our approval; we will only believe in Him on our own terms; He is guilty until proven innocent.

And then our eyes were opened. O how arrogant we had been; how high we thought we were, we did not realize how wrong we were. Then we saw the truth of our sin, the truth of His glory, the truth of His love for us in Christ. The Spirit drilled these things into us by His power overwhelming our self-deceptions and convincing us of the truth. The irreverent word games we played; the blasphemous resistance to God’s truth; the culpable denials and deceptions we persisted in. It is this change, the change from an arrogant and culpable and demanding unbelief to true faith that Jesus is seeking to bring about in the portion before us in Luke 11:29-36.

Jesus cast out a demon and there have been various responses to His ministry. We have seen those who have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and denied the blatant truth; we have seen Him address those who have a deficient faith that is only hearing but no doing; now He addresses that evil and arrogant unbelief that is demanding and will not accept the clear truth in front of them. We will look at this section under three headings. Firstly, we will look at the charge of unbelief in v29-30, and the sign of Jonah; second we will look at the examples of faith that put their unbelief to shame in v31-32; and finally Jesus will warn them of the dangers of their continuing unbelief in v33-36.