Thoughts on a Curious Passage

There is a very curious passage in two of the Gospels. It’s hard to initially see any point in them. Yet all of Scripture has a place and a purpose, so we have to study and find it.

When faced with a tough passage, you study what others have said and you are somewhat relieved when none of them know either. There are verses that are just perplexing. But we persevere, nonetheless.

Jesus said:

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation” (Matthew 12:43-45, NKJV).

and

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26, NKJV).

Commentators posit a variety of interpretations or guesses as to the meaning here. Many associate it with Jesus’ words about casting out Beelzebub. Luke lists it immediately before our text (Luke 11:14-23) while Matthew separates it (Matthew 12:22-30). Should we still associate the two passages considering the gap in Matthew?

It seems safe to speculate based on all that Jesus said that He is renouncing the Jews for rejecting Him. But beyond that, what is your view of this passage? What does it mean? I look forward to your insight.

 

#hermeneutics, #interpretation