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Pastor's Column 8/23/20


PASTOR’S COLUMN


“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself. And they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.” Matthew 12:43-45, NLT

4th Sunday- “Making Life Better Not Worse!”

These verses in Matthew’s Gospel, are a portion of a larger discourse Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, concerning Israel’s failure to safeguard itself against the relapse of sins. These recurring sins were detrimental to life! Jesus was well aware of the common teachings of His day, that disembodied spirits were believed to reside in dry, arid and desolate places. The spirits awaited an opportunity to invade the lives of vulnerable victims. In the parable, an evil spirit is excised from a man. The man and his house become synonymous in the story. The man sweeps, cleans, and disinfects his house as a precaution against a recurrence of the terrible demon. The man emptied the house. but neglected to replace the furnishings. Empty, the house became a perfect place for spirit possession. Jesus said, an unclean spirit returned to the house, finding it empty and desolate. He then went and brought back “seven” of his own. The demons regained control over the house. The empty house became a residence for the disembodied spirits. A Greek rendering of a passage in Isaiah 13:21, says that in desolate places “devils and demons shall dance there.” The condition of the house (the man) became worse, even after it was cleaned. The intent of the parable was to admonish Israel to protect and safeguard itself against the return of sin and evil. When our spiritual houses are cleansed, we must safeguard them against a recurrence of a worse problem, infection, or sin. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray in the final petition, “Protect us from the evil one.”



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