From the FLS Headmaster: 3/16/20
Jesus – The Stronger Man – Luke 11:14-28
Dr. E. Christian Kopff wrote a book that bears the title, “The Devil Knows Latin.” It’s a book that defends the study of western civilization, reading the great classics of Homer and Virgil in their original Greek and Latin languages, and urges us to saturate ourselves in the art and music of western culture. Dr Kopff contends that cultural amnesia has lead to the throwing out of western tradition and has deprived America of its academic and innovative edge. His point is that the devil knows our heritage better than we do; and the devil is using it against us!
Maybe someone should also write a book called, “The Devil Knows the Bible?” It could be a book that defends the study of the Scriptures and theology, the importance of Biblical sermons, a defense of Christ-centered worship and theologically rich hymns, and the need to discipline ourselves with prayer, meditation, and works of mercy. The book would contend that Biblical amnesia has led to much trouble in America and deprived our land of Jesus. It is a sad reality that the devil knows the Bible better than many Christians do; and the devil is using it against us.
Jesus says outright that the devil has a kingdom and compares the devil to a strong man who sits fully armed on his property guarding it, knowing that it is well-protected. Jesus calls him the “prince of this world” (John 12:31). It’s interesting that the devil doesn’t really want to be called this. Yet, it was the devil who told Jesus that this world with all its power and glory had been delivered to him and that he could give it to whomever he wanted. “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve”’” (Luke 4:8). God is the world’s rightful Lord because He is the sole Creator. God alone has the right to demand our obedience and loyalty. The devil likes to steal what isn’t rightfully his…. He likes to force his way in and takes possession of another’s possession. He’s a thief. The devil has made the world his own kingdom and has often used the very people whom he’s stolen from the Lord to keep it as his own. In this world, the devil steals our Christian joy, robs us of faith, and fills with fear of pandemic sickness.
But Jesus says that “one stronger than the devil attacks him and overcomes him. He takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil” (Luke 11:22). That’s what Jesus has done. He’s the Stronger Man who has come into this world to reclaim what was stolen from Him. He’s come for you…. To reclaim you who are under the dictatorship of the devil. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” …. That’s what the apostle says in 1 John 3:8. The worst of all the devil’s works was to destroy the original relationship between God and man. The devil stole from God the hallmark of God’s creation… mankind. He did it by tempting Adam and Eve with a lie in the garden. Satan, the father of lies, was their enemy but he pretended to be their friend.
It has been said that a radioactive particle of the catastrophe of Chernobyl is in every person in the world. In a similar way, the devil has made his mark on the innermost desires of every human being. That means we have inherited a sinful nature that makes us incompatible with God by nature.
That could’ve been the devil’s final victory, but Jesus is much stronger than that. He didn’t come with 12 legions of angels to battle for you. Jesus wouldn’t let Peter draw his sword but rather told him, “that he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.” Instead, the Stronger Man Jesus Christ showed that true brute strength and everlasting glory is only found in the way of His cross.
He took your lot, your guilt, and all the consequences of your fallen sinful nature upon Himself and died for you. His righteousness and resurrection He bestows upon sinners by grace through faith. The divine exchange means that you are justified… forgiven. Jesus is the finger of God Who casts out your demons and Who brings the kingdom of God to you. “He saved us… by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7 (ESV)
That’s how Jesus defeated the devil and won back what was stolen from Him. The devil may know the Bible, but the Word Made Flesh can fell him. Jesus Christ is the Stronger Man because the power of God is made perfect in the weakness of the cross. And since Jesus has chosen to be for you…. on your side…. That makes you the stronger man too.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Rev. Stephen W. Kieser, headmaster
Faith Lutheran School