by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

The Sign of Jonah (17 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part Two
Christopher B. Harbin
Luke 11:27-36

We are really good at judgment. We may not always correctly apply judgment. We may accuse the wrong people of the wrong things, but we are really good at casting condemnation around pretty freely. Perhaps we do it to feel better about ourselves. Perhaps we do it in an attempt to make us feel more secure. Perhaps we do it out of our own guilt and insecurities. Whatever the reason, we seem to relish pointing fingers of blame at others. We fully expect God to keep busy in the same occupation, condemning the very same people we are wont to condemn.

Jesus was at times very confusing. He was clear about issues surrounding God's love, mercy, and compassion, but then he spoke on issues of judgment in ways that are less than clear. Not all that he said seems to fit with the rest of his message. Some would go further, attempting to cast Jesus as never having any words of condemnation for anyone. That, however, is more a caricature of Jesus than the reality presented in the gospels.

Jesus had just been seen casting evil spirits out of a man who was mute. In the aftermath, he was accused of casting out demons by the power or authority of Beelzebub, the prince of the demons. It was after replying to this accusation that we find the today's passage. It is also in light of this context that we need to consider Jesus words. He was responding to the manner in which his accusers saw him do things that pointed strongly to God's activity, but then accused him of performing signs and wonders for some nefarious reason and with malevolent backing.

It is in this context that we hear Luke quote a woman calling Jesus' mother, Mary, blessed for having reared him. Jesus' response, however, pulls our attention back to reconsidering the various accusations against Jesus and what an appropriate response to him should have looked like. Rather than allowing accolades to accrue to his mo ...

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