Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. Many have memorized this prayer and use it often. He then goes on to do battle with demons, which turns into a battle with his opponents. Their opposition to Jesus causes them to draw illogical conclusions about why Jesus has power over demons. The people who opposed Jesus the most were the religious leaders, so Jesus has harsh things to say about them. Jesus’ harshest words weren’t for people who seemed like the worst sinners, they were for those who were experts on the Bible but didn’t live according to it.
Jesus said something interesting about demons leaving a person and then coming back. If a person tries to overcome something evil, whether a demon or a sinful habit, they run the risk of it returning and being even worse than it was the first time. The evil needs to be replaced by something more powerful. When Jesus died on the cross, he replaced our sin with his righteousness (1 Corinthians 5:21). When we trust Jesus, our tendency toward sin is replaced by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9, 10). Are you relying on just getting rid of evil in your life or are you relying on God’s provision of a replacement for the evil in our lives?