Growing Opposition (Luke 11:14-36). Jesus heals a demon-possessed man who was mute. Jesus was
driving out a demon that was mute. The crowd was amazed. But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the
prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
In response, Jesus tells the Parable of the Returning Evil Spirit, who returns with seven more demons to
the body it left. The parable reveals Christ’s estimate of the nation. Israel was unclean and John had
carried on a ministry of calling the people to repentance. Multitudes had responded to John’s ministry,
acknowledging their sin. Thus, the nation was cleansed. But in the interval the nation had turned from
John’s message and now was in the process of rejecting the Messiah. The good John had done was being
dissipated and the spiritual condition of the nation was actually worse than it was before John began his
ministry. Christ calls on the people to make a decision, stating, “He who is not with me is against me,
and he who does not gather with me, scatters.”
The only sign He would give was the sign of Jonah. If Gentiles like the Queen of Sheba and the people
of Nineveh believed on the basis of the message God gave them, how much more should they believe,
having seen all He did and hearing His messages. Privilege always brings responsibility, and the nation
was sinning against a flood of light. The religious leaders thought they were “walking in light,” but they
were in darkness.
Six Woes (Luke 11:37-54). Surprisingly, a Pharisee invited Jesus to lunch. The Pharisee was surprised
by Jesus when He did not ceremonially wash before the meal. In response, Jesus pronounces six woes of
denunciation on the Pharisees and teachers of the law. But they are also expressions of sorrow as He
says, “You fools.” But they took the woes to be insults.
While Jesus was saying these things their hearts were filled with wrath, vengeance, murder, the murder of
the very One who was addressing them. They were like their fathers who killed the prophets and the
blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged to this generation.
Why? Because they had identified themselves with murderers and they were under divine judgment. The
prophets called for righteousness and pointed to the Messiah. To kill Him made them equally guilty.