The Finger of God

But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

–Luke 11:20

Luke 11.20After these words, Jesus spoke of the strong man who is overcome by one who is stronger. That strong man is described as fully armed and is safe so long as one stronger does not attack.

In this context, we should understand this strong man as the evil one himself. The devil is powerful. But God is all powerful or omnipotent. Even with his full array of armor, he cannot withstand the power of God.

What I find interesting is how Jesus describes this power of God. He does not describe God as one attacking with even greater armor and a fuller array of weaponry. He does not describe as putting the full weight of his being against the enemy. He does not even describe his mighty arm or hand which the Scriptures elsewhere employs.

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.

–Isaiah 59:1

Jesus makes emphatic the point of God’s power by attributing it to the mere finger of God. It is as if God simply points for Satan to go out of the man who was possessed earlier in the chapter, and Satan must go.

While thinking of this, I recalled a story told to me by a woman named Mary. Mary was the daughter of a preacher. Mary had a tendency as a child to misbehave in her pew while her father preached. When he spotted her acting up, he would snap his finger and point to the empty choir area behind him. He did this without missing a beat in his sermon. Mary knew what the snap and the pointing of the finger of her father meant. She was to relocate herself to the choir area for the remainder of the sermon.

He didn’t yell at her. He didn’t forcibly remove her. He simply snapped and pointed. Because of his authority, Mary went.

Now I’m not comparing Mary to a demon. I’m simply making the point that God has such might and authority that he only has to point his finger, and demons flee.

What a mighty God we serve.