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Jesus Creed

Matthew 12:26 is yet one more non-Jesus kingdom. “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” So we move to Matthew 12:28, one of the most popularly quoted statements of Jesus: 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ?Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you..
Luke’s version varies only slightly: But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you..
1. Here the kingdom of God is present. The verb ephthasen/has come upon refers to a present experience in the here and now.
2. The indicator of the kingdom’s presence is exorcism; better yet, liberation as a result of exorcism.
3. It is Jesus who brings this liberation; kingdom’s liberation comes through Jesus.
4. Does this mean that wherever there is liberation there is kingdom? No. Wherever there is liberation as a result of Jesus’ liberating power there is kingdom.
5. Are the exorcisms tokens of the final? eschatological signs that kingdom is coming? manifestations of what things will be like?

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