“But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” (Luke 11:20, NIV)
You may not have thought about this lately (or ever), but symbols are very important to humans. I had this thought the other night while my wife and I watched a movie. In the scene, a politically oppressed character made a simple hand gesture, the symbol of the opposition. He was summarily shot on the spot.
Why was the hand gesture of this elderly man so dangerous? It was a symbol of hope and solidarity. If others saw it, they would know they weren’t alone. If others did it as well, they might realize the strength of their numbers.
One of the major aspects of Jesus’ ministry on the earth was healing. He healed people because he loved them and had compassion on them. But as he explained to the Pharisees, he intended more. Healing was a symbol (John calls it a “sign”). It was symbolic in the sense that it pointed to something beyond itself. It pointed to the arrival of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus told them: This is a sign of the kingdom’s arrival. You know the kingdom has arrived because kingdom things are happening. Hope began to arise in people…messianic things are happening…the Messiah has come.
Over the next few weeks until Christmas, we will be studying Isaiah 9:1-7 – that beautiful prophecy about the coming of Jesus. It is a message of hope…light dawning, a child being born…a son being given.
If you need hope for your world, for your marriage, for your kids, for your finances, join us on Sunday.