As you recall, Jesus confronted the slanderous idiotic rumor spread by the religious Pharisaical media. They wanted the population to believe Jesus was satanic and empowered by Beelzebub. We ended with...
Luke 11:23 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
There is no neutral zone with Jesus, yet these people were trying to be neutral and figure out where they stood with Jesus. Was he real and who he said he was, or was he a lie empowered by hell as the Pharisees said? This is exactly where many are today. Jesus said it doesn't work this way. You are with or against, gathering or part of the problem, filled with God's presence or filled with the presence of hell. In the same context of confronting the slanderous rumor of his being demonic, Jesus said this.
Luke 11:24-29 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits MORE WICKED THAN ITSELF, and they go in and live there. And THE FINAL CONDITION OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST." As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." AS THE CROWDS INCREASED, Jesus said, "THIS IS A WICKED GENERATION.
We learn there are levels of evil and wickedness energized and empowered by evil spirits (v26). This is what Jesus wanted them and us to see. Do you see where he is taking this? Jesus said he wasn't the one empowered by evil spirits. They were. They were empowered by the demonic Judaist religious system and it was taking them to hell.
The evil spirit comes out. He doesn't say how or why. The thing becomes a hobo demon looking for a place to crash. Eventually, it returns to the house it left finding it swept clean and put in order. It finds seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. Can you imagine? Jesus said "the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
We've all seen this. A person perhaps gets out of prison, or goes to rehab. They seem delivered. They get things in order. They get their house cleaned up. They are better for a while, but later the person, not only returned to what they once did, but became far worse. I see this frequently and this will help us all understand what happens to people who get away from God. We get more insight by looking at what he said addressing this same situation while in Galilee.
Matthew 12:43-45 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, IT FINDS THE HOUSE UNOCCUPIED, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits MORE WICKED THAN ITSELF, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is WORSE than the first. THAT IS HOW IT WILL BE WITH THIS WICKED GENERATION."
Jesus didn't say "might be," or "could be." He said, "It will be." They were the ones empowered by hell, not Jesus. It was in this context (Mat 12:31) Jesus warned of the unforgivable sin of "blasphemy against the Spirit." Perhaps we can gain some insight as to what the unforgivable sin is. There comes a time God can no longer help (Heb 6:4; 10:26-31). The problem is the evil spirit finds the house unoccupied. This is trying to be neutral and not with Jesus. In both cases, Matthew and Luke, Jesus referenced his wicked generation. Jesus went through the land top (Galilee) to bottom (Judea) driving out the demons of that generation. They were coming back worse than ever. That generation truly was wicked and demonized. It killed the Son of God. The Book of Revelation (9:2) talks about hell being opened (Abyss, bottomless pit) and demons chained since time began released. We see the relationship of the Book of Revelation and that wicked Generation.
Luke 11:27-28 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "BLESSED RATHER are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
It's as though a woman in the crowd said, "Can we change the subject? How's your mom? Blessed is your mother." It seems to be a veneration of Mary, but not really. Actually it was the highest compliment a person could be paid in that society. It's saying, "You are a blessing to your mother. Blessed is the woman who birthed you because you are a blessing to us." Jesus replied along the lines of, "No, actually you will be blessed if you grasp what I'm saying here and do it. You're not actually with me because you say I am a blessing. You are with me if you obey the word of God." You will avoid evil spirits if you obey the word of God.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
How do we know if we are with Jesus? It's the person who will hear the word of God and obey it. So, where are we with this individually? Where is our generation with this? It's horribly obvious what our generation thinks about the word of God. Have you even read it? Wonder why sometimes evil motivates us?
Luke 11:29-30 AS THE CROWDS INCREASED, Jesus said, "THIS IS A WICKED GENERATION. IT ASKS FOR A MIRACULOUS SIGN, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to THIS GENERATION.
Wow! How does this read to you? Let's first make certain we clearly see and note the correct and exact generation declared here by Jesus as wicked. It was the generation to which Jesus came, lived, and ministered, and was crucified. Am I correct? To grasp the Bible, we must see this. Here, he is not speaking about a generation thousands of years later.
Jesus proclaimed that generation "wicked" as the crowds increased. Obviously, this is what he wanted them to know. The crowds continued to increase and Jesus became clearer with his warning of their wickedness.
Even though generation specific, let's step back and ask, "How is our generation concerning wickedness?" I've never seen such blatant vileness and wickedness. It's the most wicked generation in recent history and becoming more wicked every day. What used to be sacred is now mocked. What used to be in the closet is openly paraded. Evil is publicized and in the name of being politically correct, our children are taught to accept, encouraged to participate, and be wicked. What was once wrong, sin, and avoided is now "cool" and embraced. You can't watch a Kindle reader commercial without being blasted. Would you say our generation is with Jesus, or against Jesus, gathering or scattering, energized by evil spirits or by the presence of God? Is our nation a part of the solution, or a part of the problem? What will it take to bring change? Is change possible? Was change possible for that generation, or were they unforgivable?
We can easily say our generation is wicked, but it's shocking Jesus said it about his. Jesus said this to what we would think the most God-conscious, moral, and the most religious people ever, but the opposite was true. Actually, they were the most wicked and filled with evil people. The ones against Jesus and scattering would have appeared to us to be the most spiritual. Jesus was not speaking to a godless society of pagans and idol worshipers. It was to the Jews.
This society was fanatical about keeping the law of God. The religious leaders forced the people to live religiously with, not only the Ten Commandments, but also over six-hundred other laws. As you and I will be arrested for speeding on Sunday, they would be arrested for working on the Sabbath. That society lived out their lives doing religious duties and ceremonies. Yet, Jesus said, "This generation is a wicked generation." Outwardly, they looked so righteous. Inwardly, they were filled with filth.
Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, TEACHERS OF THE LAW and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and EVERYTHING unclean.
Jesus said indeed you look beautiful on the outside, but you're wicked and filthy inwardly. Did you know it's easier for people who know they have problems to respond correctly to Jesus than those who believe themselves to be a good person? It's easier for a sinner to repent than people seeing themselves good enough. Sometimes religious people think they have gained favor with God due to their "goodness." No. It's a profound delusion and a possible haven for demons.
One of the worse states a person can be is to sweep their house and get it in order with "good enough." They actually become a haven for demons and that is exactly the context of what Jesus was saying. The religious generation of the day of Jesus felt they didn't need a Savior. They were good enough. This is exactly what happens to people - Good enough.
What we also need to realize is while Jesus spoke to and warned a wicked generation there were those of that same generation who were not wicked. There were those there with him, those gathering with him, and those filled with the presence of God. Things did become horrific for that generation. That's a historical fact. However, those who heard and obeyed his word avoided the holocaust of those days - AD 70.
I'm going to show you what Jesus said in a few days from the time we've studied.
Luke 21:20-23 When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days...
Those who heard God's word and obeyed avoided the desolation. Jesus said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." Studying, hearing what God says through the word of God, and obeying it is not a religious thing preachers instruct us to do. It's a life thing Jesus instructs us to do. We can avoid the desolations others in our generation experience. You probably already have. I encourage you to read and do what Jesus said. We will be amazed the evil and desolations we avoid.
© Life Gate Ministries