God Pause for Thursday, 7/17/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Thursday, 7/17/2014 Reading: Matthew 12:24-30

Our image of Christ is commonly of him being one of peace and restraint. But when it comes to confronting evil, Jesus engages conflict with audacity. Gone is any image of a "Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild." Instead, Christ challenges and zealously seeks to remove those forces that create hardship and chaos in the lives of his people.

In explaining his treatment of evil in God's kingdom, Jesus uses an illustrative parable about a strong man's house and property. In order for a person to enter a strong man's house and confiscate his possessions, the strong man must first be tied up. Then his property is able to be plundered (Matthew 12:29).

If we have been bound and held as Satan's hostages, Jesus comes as one who is stronger than the strong man, frustrating the devil's schemes and harnessing and overcoming his power. When Christ encounters Satan, there is a powerful plundering of Satan's house going on. But for you and me, Christ's plundering is amounts to a glorious rescue mission.

Shower us with your grace, loving Jesus. We invite you to plunder our lives, removing all sin and evil, returning us to your embrace. Amen.

Jason W. Talsness Pastor, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, Ga. Master of Divinity, 1997

Matthew 12:24-30 (NRSV)

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons." 25 He knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

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