PART VIII: THE MISCELLANEOUS PARABLES
Jesus does not identify this passage as a parable,
because it is not at first. Jesus teaches how an individual
becomes demon possessed after he has a single demon cast out.
He then uses a house in a parabolic statement. Next, in the
scriptural and historical context, Jesus uses the truth in a
parabolic way. The Parable of the Return of the Evil Spirit
is found in Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24-26.
"When an evil spirit comes out of a
man, it goes through arid places seeking
rest and does not find it. Then it says,
`I will return to the house I left.'
When it arrives, it finds the house
unoccupied, swept clean, and put in
order. Then it goes and takes with it
seven other spirits more wicked than
itself, and they go in and live there.
And the final condition of that man is
worse than the first. That is how it
will be with this wicked generation."
(Matthew 12:43-45, New International
"When an evil (unclean) spirit comes
out of a man, it goes through arid places
seeking rest and does not find it. Then
it says, `I will return to the house I
left.' When it arrives, it finds the
house swept clean and put in order. Then
it goes and takes seven other spirits
more wicked than itself, and they go in
and live there. And the final condition
of that man is worse than the first."
(Luke 11:24-26, New International
Ralph Earle provides a good outline of Matthew 12 to
show the context of this parable [WESLEYAN BIBLE COMMENTARY
(Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press), MATTHEW, by Ralph Earle,
p. 61]. His outline with my material follows:
HIS CRITICS. [THE PHARISEES].
1. The Cause (12:1-21)
a. Harvesting on the Sabbath (vv. 1-8)
b. Healing on the Sabbath (vv. 9-14)
c. Helping the Sick (vv. 15-21)
[The Pharisees criticized Jesus for "harvesting
on the Sabbath" and healing on the Sabbath].
2. The Criticism (12:22-30)
[The Pharisees were so blind that they accused Jesus
of casting out demons by Satan's power. If true,
this would be self-defeating for Satan].
3. The Curse (12:31-32)
[Jesus warns against blaspheming the Holy Spirit--a
sin that will not be forgiven].
4. The Contrast (12:33-37)
[An evil heart produces evil speech and conduct. A
good heart produces good speech and good conduct].
5. The Craving (12:38-42)
[Some of the religious leaders wanted a miraculous
sign from Jesus. Jesus had already done enough
miracles--he would not do a special one for them].
6. The Consequences (12:43-45)
[Jesus tells of the consequences of rejecting God].
7. The Clan (12:46-50)
[Jesus places in perspective natural human family
and spiritual family].
Demon possession is a reality. In our day of
"enlightenment," some would dismiss the existence of demons.
In some ways, the existence of evil or unclean spirits as
they are called in the New Testament is out of the realm of
science. How can you observe a spirit? How can you control
a situation so that anyone can do an experiment that would
prove the existence of demons? You cannot! However, you can
examine the facts and do critical research. I believe that a
scientific approach will confirm the Biblical teaching that
demons do exist. For a more detailed approach on demon
influence and possession and how to be set free from demons,
write Kenneth E. Hagin, P O Box 50126, Tulsa, OK 74150-9988.
This passage of scripture first of all, applies to theThe Interpretation
individual. A person can be delivered of demon influence or
even total possession, and be repossessed completely, if the
Spirit of God does not dwell in the heart of the individual
delivered. Reformation and "turning over a new leaf" will
Reformation without regeneration is no use. (Morgan, THE PARABLES
AND METAPHORS OF OUR LORD, p. 41).
We must accept Christ as our personal Savior and then the
Holy Spirit will take up his abode in our house (heart).
In Jesus' time, the present religious generation had
been purged of idolatry. However, it had not received the
Messiah and the new truths that he brought. Farrar comments:
The parable was an allegory, not only of the awful
peril of relapse after partial conversion, but also
of the History of the Jews. The demon of idolatry
had been expelled by the Exile; `but had returned
in the sevenfold virulence of letter-worship,
formalism, exclusiveness, ambition, greed,
hypocrisy and hate;' and on the testimony of
Josephus himself [a Jewish historian] the Jews of
that age were so bad that their destruction seemed
an inevitable retribution. (Carr, CAMBRIDGE GREEK
TESTAMENT FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, LUKE, by F. W.
Farrar, pp. 265 ff.).
...when the Jews rejected Jesus, they found
themselves in a worse state than ever before.
Wicked demons drove them on to their doom, in the
destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. [WESLEYAN
BIBLE COMMENTARY (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press),
MATTHEW, by Ralph Earle, p. 61].
When enough people in a culture become controlled or
possessed by demons, the whole culture is moved toward
destruction. This is what happened in Jesus' time. And
sadly, this appears to be happening in the United States.
Barclay sees three truths in this parable:
1. The evil spirit is banished from the man and
2. A negative religion is not enough.
3. The only cure for evil action is Christian
action. (Barclay, DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES, MATTHEW
pp. 56 ff.).
Central TruthCHRIST MUST BE RECEIVED INTO THE HEART
AFTER CHRIST DELIVERS FROM DEMONS.
Let us take the good news of the Gospel to those who are
controlled and manipulated by the devil and his demons.
THERE IS DELIVERANCE FOR THOSE WHO WANT IT! END