Week 9 | The Third Sunday After Epiphany
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Job 1:6-12: Have you considered my servant Job?
Psalm 35:5-10: You are my God; I eagerly seek you.
Matthew 12:43-45: that is how it will be for this evil generation
Jesus had told stories to prove to them he was who he said he was but the leaders asked for a sign or a miracle from Jesus to prove he was the Messiah. Jesus calls them an evil and adulterous generation and then tells them another story as a warning. The story is of a demon that had possessed a man and then decided for some reason that he needed a vacation. The demon leaves the man to go rest in the desert but cannot get any rest so he decided to go back to the man he had possessed.
When the demon gets back to the man he possessed he finds the man’s house is empty, swept and everything is in order. Meaning the man is now healthy.
Since everything is so nice the demon runs out and gets seven of his demon friends to be his roommates. So he brings them back, they possess the man and the Bible says that the man’s life is much worse than it was before.
So what does this mean?
Well it is kind of like that story you may have heard about this man and his wife were living in this city and a huge rainstorm with heavy flooding was forecast to be hitting that city in a couple of days. The news and the city leaders were started telling everyone to evacuate. But the man and his wife stayed.
When the story hit the fire department went door to door telling people to evacuate and helping them to evacuate if they needed. The man told the firemen that God was going to save them and they stayed.
The floodwaters were rising and the water was up to the man’s porch the National Guard took boats down the street and the man was asked to leave and he said God would save him and he stayed.
It kept raining the waters kept rising and the man and his wife are on the roof of their house, just the very top of the house was visible out of the water and a Coast Guard helicopter spotted them and came to rescue them but the man said God was going to save them…and he and his wife died.
The man gets to the pearly gates and he starts yelling at Saint Peter, I prayed and God said he would save me and he never did.
Peter looks at the man and says we warned you, sent people to your house, sent the national guard boats and a coast guard helicopter to your house to rescue you and you refused to be saved…
That is kind of what is happening in this story that Jesus is using as a warning to the Jews.
He said in this particular instance to the Jews that they had listened and heard John the Baptist’s message about Jesus and some believed and were baptized but now they were beginning to question Jesus and wanted more proof.
In this story, those leaders that had heard and believed but were turning away were the “house” or the people possessed by the demons. Them believing Jesus emptied the evil out of the house and everything was good to go, but they turned back to where they were so the demon was able to go out and bring more evil with him.
And Jesus says that them turning back was going to be worse for them than when they started.
This is a hard lesson for us as well.
May we not be the house that evil returns in greater numbers to.
Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and our house free of evil.
Please have a wonderful and safe week and may we follow Jesus so closely that the dust of his sandals covers us.
Lord, because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us, and because of our faith, Christ has brought us into a place of undeserved privilege. It is here that we stand, confidently and joyfully looking forward to sharing God’s glory.
We rejoice even in the midst of trials and problems because you have given us the Holy Spirit to endure with and to be loved by.
In his love, we rejoice