Tag Archives: demons

The Strong Man

A medieval illustration of Jesus healing the Gerasene demoniac

Third Week of Lent, Thursday

Luke 11:14-23

He was driving out a demon [that was] mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute person spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Luke 11:14-23

Division destroys.
Even demons unify
To execute ploys.

Evil Inc. was going bust;
Jesus broke their vicious trust.
Demons skidooed left and right;
Mute men spoke, the blind gained sight.

Beelzebul’s work, slurred some,
Pointing fingers with venom.
Blind and deaf guides, look and hear!
The finger of God is here.

Sentries drop their palace shield;
Musclemen to Christ must yield.
Satan’s gang can’t beat the Son
Foiling hell’s operation.


Doctor on Call

Christ healing Peter’s mother-in-law (Mosaic in Chora Church, Istanbul) 

22nd Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday (Year II)

Luke 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.

From the synagogue and into the world, Jesus’ work of healing and recreating the cosmos filled the Sabbath and beyond, extending into all space and time. Christ—the synagogue, Sabbath and Temple Incarnate—merged all divisions of the sacred and profane in his person. 

First a man with an unclean spirit, and then a woman with a fever—the Logos breathed new life into both halves of humankind, the masculine and the feminine. 

When the Sabbath ended at sunset, the throng freely solicited the divine physician for his healing services. The aim of the Sabbath—agape in communion—overflowed the boundaries of sacred time as Jesus “laid hands on each of them and cured them.” His flesh may have been weak, exhausted from a long day, but his compassionate spirit overcame fatigue for the sake of his beloved ones.

And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

Proclamations of his divinity from wily intelligences were silenced so as not to lead the credulous into their confidence. The first genuine realization of the identity of the Christ was reserved for the apostle Peter in the course of time (Matthew 16:16).

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.

The human physician needed a break after being on call for such an extraordinary stretch. A deserted place of silence and solitude beckoned the weary doctor to rest.

The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them.

Jesus’ time was up in this town. He had no inclination to linger and be made a superstar.

But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

The kingdom on foot had miles yet to tread: town after town and synagogue after synagogue, for the fullness of time had come (Galatians 4:4).