The Presence of the Kingdom

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Default article daily reflection

“But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.”

Luke 11:20

Throughout his ministry, Jesus confronted evil in various forms. One of these forms was obviously demonic, as Jesus met evil spirits that dominated people’s lives and cast them out. In Luke 11:14-15, his deliverance of a man elicited a critical response from some who were watching. They accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, the prince of demons.

Jesus refuted their accusation, first with an argument from common sense. “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed,” he said (11:17). Thus, it made no sense to suggest that Satan’s power was being used to deliver people from Satan’s domination. Then, Jesus pointed to the source of his power over evil spirits: “But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you” (11:20). Literally, Jesus spoke of casting out demons by “the finger of God,” a metaphorical way of speaking of God’s power.

As we have seen in other sections of Luke, the kingdom of God was the center of Jesus’ ministry. He proclaimed the coming of God’s reign and demonstrated the truth of this proclamation with works of divine power, especially healings and exorcisms. According to Jesus, the kingdom of God would come in full in the future. Yet, God had begun to reign in a new way through Jesus. Thus, Jesus could talk of the kingdom as having arrived in the present time. Whenever evil was defeated and people were set free, God was present, powerful, and reigning.

As followers of Jesus, we continue to await the fullness of the kingdom that is yet to come. Yet we can experience the reign and might of God today, however incompletely. God is present with us now to defeat evil and to set people free from all sorts of bondage. Some need to be delivered from literal demons. Others need to be set free from the “demons” of greed, fear, lust, shame, and despair. The good news is that God is present with us today to save, to heal, and to liberate us from evil and its ravages. Moreover, God seeks to extend his kingdom into the world through us, as we offer ourselves to him and as his Spirit empowers us. Thus, as citizens of the kingdom of God, we are both beneficiaries and officials of the kingdom, as we give away freely that which we have received through Christ.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways have you experienced the kingdom of God in your life? How have you seen the power of God vanquish evil? How is God manifesting his kingdom through your life?

PRAYER: Mighty God, thank you for your power. Thank you for your power to vanquish evil. Thank you for making that power available today in our world.

I pray that you would deliver me from evil. Where sin has its hold on me, break its grasp. When I am tempted to sin, quicken my resistance. Give me such a love for your holiness that I hate sin.

Use me, O God, to be a channel of your healing, freeing power in this world. Through my words and works, may I help people to experience the presence of your kingdom.

All praise be to you, King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.