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Finger of God


FINGER OF GOD

Jesus cast out demons by the finger of God (Lk 11:20). “By the finger of God” is an anthropomorphic or figurative expression of the powerful intervention of God. Matthew used “by the Spirit of God” (Mt 12:28) for the same incident in his gospel. We see similar expressions elsewhere in the Bible:

1. According to the order of the LORD through Moses, Aaron struck the dust of the earth and gnats came upon human beings and beasts. The Egyptian magicians tried to do the same, but failed. Then they told the Pharaoh about the plague, “This is the finger of God” (Ex 8:15).

2. When the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, the LORD spoke to Moses and “gave him the two tablets of the covenant, the stone tablets inscribed by God’s own finger” (Ex 18:31; 31:18; Deut 9:10).

3. Creation per se was the work of God’s fingers. “When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you set in place – what is man that you are mindful of him” (Ps 8:4-5).

4. When King Belshazzar laid out a banquet for a thousand of his nobles, he used the gold and silver vessels his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. While they were drinking and praising their gods, “the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace. When the king saw the hand that wrote, his face became pale; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked” (Dan 5:5-6). Daniel interpreted it, saying, “the God in whose hand is your very breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify. By him was the hand sent, and the writing set down” (Dan 5:23b-24).

5. While Jesus was in the Temple area instructing the people, the Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. When they asked Jesus whether they should stone her according to the Law, “Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger” (Jn 8:6, 8).

Thus “the finger of God” represents the immense power of God and with no labor.

Would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you?
The opponents of Jesus agreed that the driving out of demons by Jesus was superhuman. He could do it either with the power of Satan or with the Spirit (power) of God (Mt 12:28). Though they accused Jesus of doing it with the power of Beelzebul, Jesus refuted it and proved that the finger of God was at work through him in his miracles, especially in casting out demons. That was the sign of the establishment of the kingdom of God. So, it was already in their midst through Jesus. Its full consummation will happen only at his second coming.

 


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