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Sunday of Lent 3

Some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons

by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. — Luke 11:14–20, 23

There is perhaps no time more profound in the Christian year of grace in which to meditate on the clearly revealed will of God than the season of Lent. During this long holy season, the church takes special care to contemplate the depths of her sinfulness and the unfathomable lengths the Christ went to in becoming sin for us and taking our place under the righteous wrath of God so that we might live in perfect righteousness, innocence, and blessedness under Him in His kingdom forever. This is the good and gracious will of God.

The will of God necessitates the destruction of all other wills which are opposed to it as is seen in part in the reading above wherein Jesus is foolishly accused of casting out a demon according to the will of Beelzebul. He asks His accusers how this can be since the will of God, not Beelzebul, is to destroy all demons. What Jesus does is the finger of God at work according to His good will. Whoever is opposed to this, as some of them were in their hearts, is opposed to the will of God to save mankind from their sin.

Dear Father in Heaven, we thank and praise You that it is Your good and gracious will to break and hinder and evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. Grant that we be kept steadfast and believing until You send Your Son to judge the living and the dead. Amen.

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