Luke 11:15-26 NRSVue

15But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 16Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. 17But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?—for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. 22But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. 23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

24“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but not finding any it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25When it returns, it finds it swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

How could anyone say that Jesus was casting out demons through the power of the prince of demons? The hardness of heart, so evident all around us, and within us, remains a great mystery: how can we resist the truth, goodness, justice, finding empty excuses to justify our hardness of heart? How can so much human suffering, so much ecological degradation leave us unmoved? I ask the Lord for an open heart, and for light to see the hardness in me.

Jesus gives us a clear warning: an empty heart is there for the taking. You cannot live a meaningful life if you never choose, never opt for what you believe in.