Matthew 12:22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see. 23 All the crowds were amazed and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.” 25 He knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day accuse Jesus of being in league with Beelzebub, the prince of demons. It’s a ridiculous claim so he offers a logical response. If Satan were opposing Satan, the kingdom of darkness would cease to be – which it certainly has not. “… no city or house divided against itself will stand”.
One of the key strategies of our enemy is the sowing of division – whether in a church or a family or whatever. This week I attending a pastor conference for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), which is mostly comprised of people who left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to which I belong. I’m not a member of the NALC. I attended to spend time with a dear friend pastor of mine. But I knew several of the NALC pastors from when they were in the ELCA. They are good pastors, faithful pastors who love the Lord and his church.
As I spent time with this group, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of sadness. I miss these NALC pastors. More than ever, our church needs to be united – but in many cases we are not. And so the entire body of Christ is diminished and along with it our capacity to be bearers of the gospel to a hurting world. It should not be so. But in this instance, it would appear the strategy of the enemy to divide us is working.
Lord Jesus, bind us together as only you can do. Amen.