January 29 - Luke 11.14-32

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Jesus and Beelzebul
(Matthew 12.22-30; Mark 3.20-27)

14Jesus was driving out a demon that could not talk; and when the demon went out, the man began to talk. The crowds were amazed, 15but some of the people said, "It is Beelzebul, the chief of the demons, who gives him the power to drive them out."
16Others wanted to trap Jesus, so they asked him to perform a miracle to show that God approved of him. 17But Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, "Any country that divides itself into groups which fight each other will not last very long; a family divided against itself falls apart. 18So if Satan's kingdom has groups fighting each other, how can it last? You say that I drive out demons because Beelzebul gives me the power to do so. 19If this is how I drive them out, how do your followers drive them out? Your own followers prove that you are wrong! 20No, it is rather by means of God's power that I drive out demons, and this proves that the Kingdom of God has already come to you.
21"When a strong man, with all his weapons ready, guards his own house, all his belongings are safe. 22But when a stronger man attacks him and defeats him, he carries away all the weapons the owner was depending on and divides up what he stole.
23"Anyone who is not for me is really against me; anyone who does not help me gather is really scattering.

The Return of the Evil Spirit
(Matthew 12.43-45)

24"When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it travels over dry country looking for a place to rest. If it can't find one, it says to itself, 'I will go back to my house.' 25So it goes back and finds the house clean and all fixed up. 26Then it goes out and brings seven other spirits even worse than itself, and they come and live there. So when it is all over, that person is in worse shape than at the beginning."

True Happiness

27When Jesus had said this, a woman spoke up from the crowd and said to him, "How happy is the woman who bore you and nursed you!"
28But Jesus answered, "Rather, how happy are those who hear the word of God and obey it!"

The Demand for a Miracle
(Matthew 12.38-42)

29As the people crowded around Jesus, he went on to say, "How evil are the people of this day! They ask for a miracle, but none will be given them except the miracle of Jonah. 30In the same way that the prophet Jonah was a sign for the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this day. 31On the Judgment Day the Queen of Sheba will stand up and accuse the people of today, because she traveled all the way from her country to listen to King Solomon's wise teaching; and there is something here, I tell you, greater than Solomon. 32On the Judgment Day the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse you, because they turned from their sins when they heard Jonah preach; and I assure you that there is something here greater than Jonah!

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.


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