Christ Has Overcome the World

John 1633 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

John 16:29–33 (ESV)

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

The disciples finally thought they were fully understanding Jesus as they called out, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!” Much of what Jesus had been saying had gone over their heads. Even here, Jesus made it clear that they were still only partially understanding. “Do you now believe,” Jesus asked? The disciples still lacked full understanding of what was coming and it would cause them to desert Jesus and scatter in fear in only a few hours. Jesus once again spoke to encourage them by telling them that they could take heart knowing that Jesus had overcome the world.

Satan is at war with God’s people. Scripture tells us that we are in a spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10-12). However, Jesus Christ has already defeated Satan and his demons. The crucifixion and resurrection were the decisive blows. Christians may face ongoing troubles in this world, but we know that these times are short and that the end is already decided. Christ is the risen and conquering King and his kingdom is forever. We can take heart because our King has overcome the world.

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A Clean, but Empty House

staircase area

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Reading the Word

Luke 11:24–26 (ESV)

24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Parallel Text: Matthew 12:43-45

Understanding and Applying the Word

In today’s reading, Jesus warns about the necessity of making a decision about him. There is no neutral ground.

When a demon has gone out of a person (notice this is not one that has been cast out) it goes through the water less places seeking rest. The desert was believed to be the dwelling place of demons except when they had taken up residence in someone or something. When the demon could not find a suitable place to go, it decided to return from where it had come. The old house had been cleaned up and put in order so that the place was better than ever. Though it had been cleaned up, it had not been filled. As a result, the demon went out and invited others to join him in the fine accommodations. Now the situation was worse than at the beginning.

We often try to clean up our lives in our own strength. We may even feel like we have done it at times. However, personal reform does not last long. We need the life-giving presence and power of the Holy Spirit working in us to bring us true victory over evil. The Spirit is given to all who trust in Jesus Christ. Pray that Christ would send the Spirit to give you new life and remain with you to give you the power and strength you need each day to live for Jesus.

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Reason for Rejoicing

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Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page to continue reading along each day. We are reading through the life of Jesus Christ from the four New Testament Gospels in 2019. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Luke 10:17–20 (ESV)

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”