“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Parable of the Haunted House

(Please read Matthew 12:43-45)

April 30

We don’t have to know a whole lot about demons to get the point of this short, picturesque parable of Jesus. It seems to have pertained to the Jews who were baptized by John in great numbers but later rejected Christ. Those who were baptized must have been penitent because John was preaching repentance (Matthew 3:11), thus planning to change their lives. But when they rejected Christ, they allowed evil to return to their empty “houses.”

The saying, “All nature abhors a vacuum,” pertains to the physical world, but the principle is true in the social and spiritual realms as well. Real estate people know that empty houses deteriorate; they gather dust and may attract vermin and vandalism. In the same way an empty house of one’s heart cannot prosper; it must be occupied with something. If that something is not good, it will be bad – wrong ideas and ideals.

Negative goodness is not enough. After getting rid of thoughts, habits and ways which are wrong and degrading, the process is only half completed. Evils driven out must be replaced with things that are noble, right, pure, true, and lovely (Philippians 4:8). Then our hearts will be “houses” worth living in. And the Christian’s life must be occupied with action as well, because those good thoughts must find fruition in equally fine deeds.

May the Lord help you keep your “house” lovingly occupied and maintained this day.

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