11. a. Jesus demonstrated His power and authority over the kingdom of darkness by healing the demon-possessed man.
b. Beelzebub AKA the strong man is Satan. His “house” is the world of unbelievers. Some individuals actually “house” /are possessed by one or more demons.
12. Anyone who feels convicted of sin is sensitive to the Spirit of Truth. Jesus is addressing the accusations of the Pharisees who are attributing the source of His power to Satan himself. The Pharisees are unrepentant and angered by the acts of healing mercy shown to a man now free of bondage.
13. My words sometimes convey God’s love, compassion and mercy. Other times—probably more often—my words come from a root of selfishness, impatience, judgment, frustration, jealousy, and pride.
My desire is to be aware of those unholy thoughts before I’m tempted to speak them. In fact, I am becoming more aware. And yet, I still often make a conscious decision to let critical, unkind, or unwise words fly.
Perhaps a better desire is to be so filled with the Spirit that out of my mouth flow words of life.
14. a. The Pharisees knew all of the prophetic details about the coming Messiah. Because Jesus did not look and behave they way they expected, they refused to believe. Even after the miracles they saw with their own eyes and heard about, they still asked for another. As Jesus said (to the Pharisees, I think) in Luke 16:29-31:
29 “Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.’
30 “‘I know, Father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.’
31 “Abraham replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.’”
b. The sign of Jonah, who was dead for three days inside a large fish. This reference foreshadows the death and resurrection of Jesus.
c. I thought of the townsfolk who pleaded with Jesus to leave after he cast demons out of a man and into a large herd of pigs. Once again, Jesus set a captive free. The Pharisees led the people to reject and later demand Jesus’ crucifixion. The demonic stronghold no doubt returned to bring about even greater bondage and destruction in their midst.
15. I am a member of Jesus’ family. Other believers are my brothers and sisters.