Have you ever had a guest (or guests) coming, and all of a sudden you realize your house is a mess? Maybe you go a little crazy cleaning the house up-and-down. You might even draft the spouse or kids to “help”.
The guest(s) then come. The event/time comes and probably went just fine. Then you don’t clean the house until the next guest. You just leave it. The toilets and sinks turn foul. The dust and hair build on every surface and in every crevice. Food crumbs are being walked out of the house by ant trails. You just let it all go until the next guest, right?
Of course not! Granted, you may not clean as minutely as when a guest comes. You won’t let it all go, though.
This passage of Jesus is not quite the same as cleaning the house for the guest. It’s cleaning the house to get rid of the bad guest. It also about why one cleans the house.
The “evil generation” wanted the Messiah to come and make everything better…without changing what they were doing. They wanted the Messiah to refresh, but they really didn’t want renewal.
On the other hand, there are aspects to this parable that apply to our own lives.
Often, when we first come to Jesus it seems as if a huge burden (the bad guest) had gone away. Yet, for many people what ends up happening is that for a short time things are great, but all of a sudden all the habits or addictions or struggles that appeared to be conquered all come back with a vengeance. Kind of like the 7 new spirits.
The house in the parable is empty of presence. No spirits. No Jesus. No Holy Spirit. That means an unHoly party is quite possible.
Once we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we still need to keep the house somewhat clean. Yes, with Jesus and the Holy Spirit present we don’t get a complete unHoly party, but we certainly don’t have a peace-filled house if we allow the evil spirits to still live there.
There is no “one time” cleansing of the house of our soul. There is passing the deed from the world to us, then to God. That doesn’t mean we can stop cleaning the house.
Reading the Scriptures helps to fill the space with God’s word. Confessing our sins helps to fill the house with grace. At all times, God wants to fill the house with love…we just need to accept it.
1) What do you do to regularly “clean” the house that is your soul?
2) Have you ever been told that once you know Jesus, everything will be fine? What is the problem with that? What is the truth in that?
3) Why is it important to recognize that all Christians need to be regularly “cleaning” their soul?
Holy Spirit, guide us to the corners and even the closets of our lives that need to be cleaned. Help us to regularly look to you and your people for guidance in that. Amen.