26 January 2014
The parable of the return of the unclean spirit in Matthew 12:43 has never really been understood by me until i read it again tonight and realized what Jesus was talking about.
The parable goes that an unclean spirit when out of a person, only to return to that same person with seven other evil spirits – causing the state of the man later to be worse than the first. It bewildered me for some time how and why Jesus talked about this. The state of the man after the first unclean spirit had left him was described as a “house” and when the unclean spirit had decided to return to that “house” it found “the house empty, swept and put in order”. The word “empty” then stood out to me and i realized Jesus was meaning that something was missing in the house. The presence of God. Then it all made sense to me.
Without the presence of the Holy Spirit living in a believer, it is an invitation for evil to return and it is far worse for a person to think he has cleaned up his act and put everything in order but forget to invite and rely on the One who made it possible in the first place.
Jesus healed many people during his ministry and we read many people were healed from diseases and incapacity. The startling warning of Jesus was that it was easy to cleanse and heal someone but it was no guarantee of the future destiny of that person. Jesus once asked – is it easier for me to say your sins are forgiven or to heal you and perform a miracle? Jesus also said, an evil and twisted generation seeks for a sign – but no sign will be given.
People often challenge faith by saying – If only God were to do this or appear in front of me or give me a sign – i will believe! Oh how i realize now the deep mercy and patience of God in NOT giving and showing those “signs” sometimes. Such people are probably going to be much like the man in the parable – who may start to believe and get their act together, but have no real acceptance of Jesus into their lives – which will prove disastrous eventually.
I need to be constantly aware of my need to keep my “house ” occupied by my Lord. My house shall not be empty, for my Savior shall dwell in me and make my body a living temple of God.
Revelation 3:20 says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.”
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, may you make my house a permanent and constant dwelling of your presence and power. May i always seek to acknowledge your presence in me to protect and defend my soul and to transform my life to your delight.