Moving Past the Status Quo

The Pharisees’ claim that Jesus cast out demons by the power of the prince of demons reveals the absurd lengths to which unbelief will go. Jesus’ response demonstrated the absurdity of this explanation. If Satan were attacking his own forces then how could his kingdom stand? One’s forces are only attacked by an opposing force, which in this case was Jesus. Jesus’ power over demons demonstrated that the Kingdom of God had come and was establishing its power over the kingdom of darkness. The people understood this, but the educated refused to accept it. This is often the case, because the educated are invested so heavily in the status quo. A change in the status quo meant that their positions were now at risk. In opposing Jesus, these Pharisees were actually promoting the continuation of Satan’s domain, rather than joining Jesus in bringing it down. This is the problem with the educated, who become comfortable with their situation that they fail to see how change can bring about something unprecedented and good, because they fear losing what they have. In so doing, they can end up supporting what they once opposed to keep what they currently know and have.

If we are to continue to grow, it also means that we must consider the possibility that our current understanding is inadequate and in need of growth. As the Pharisees illustrate, it is comfortable for all of us to maintain the status quo in our lives, because we have grown accustomed to it. Change requires effort and exploring the unknown, which can and often does produce discomfort, but growth is also one of the great joys of following Jesus. While he does lead us into the unknown, he will not lead us their by ourselves, he will go with us. If the great joy of the Christian life is knowing Jesus, and it is, then allowing Jesus to lead us into unknown territory will also provide us a new opportunity to know him better. Therefore we should never allow the discomfort of change or the realization that our current understanding of God’s kingdom is inadequate to stop us from continuing to follow Jesus.

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