Matthew 12:43–45 (ESV)
Return of an Unclean Spirit
43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it
comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will
it be with this evil generation.”
In cleaning a house, I have learned that you have to keep cleaning it over and over… or it will go dirty!
I remember being embarrassed at college when a girl came to visit my room and it was a mess. I wouldn’t let her in. She had brought homemade cookies and I was probably 3 shades of red. She finally talked me into letting her in.
She was appalled at the mess. Well… that never happened again. It was probably 3 weeks into my freshman year and my roommate and I decided to come up with a cleaning schedule for our little dorm room. This passed on to our apartment.
To be honest, where we lived was spotless after that. I must admit that it did take work, but we kept the house clean. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Jesus describes how a person delivered from a demon becomes worse when there is
failure to fill the emptiness with goodness. We can also relapse into old and habitual sins when we fail to nourish our spiritual lives through Word and Sacrament. Only the Holy Spirit can replace the evil spirits that are constantly “seeking someone
to devour” (1Pt 5:8). With words from Luther’s baptismal service, we cry out: “Depart thou unclean spirit and make room for the Holy Spirit” (AE 53:107).”
I pray: Come, Holy Spirit, and make my heart Your dwelling place. Amen.