“…The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10:25)
Jesus Heals the Man with an Unclean Spirit
23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God! 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee. (Mark 1:23-28)
The accounts of demon possession are among the most frightening events recorded in the Bible.
It is frightening to think that a demon can take possession of a person, speaking through the person’s mouth or compelling the person to cause harm with great feats of strength, or even driving the person to throw
himself into a fire.
While such accounts remind us of the fearful power of the devil,
they should also cause us to heed the warning, “Be sober, be vigilant, because
your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”
(1 Peter 5:8).
However, the biblical accounts of demon possession are also some of the most comforting and encouraging. When the Bible shows the power of the devil, it often reveals the much greater power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus commands the demons, and they must obey—as we see in this text.
All of Jesus’ miracles show that He does indeed have all power in heaven and on earth (as He says in Matthew 28:18). He has power over every disease, over the forces of nature, and even over the devils.
Isn’t it interesting that this demon-possessed man was sitting in the synagogue on the Sabbath? Might not the fact that this demon apparently felt comfortable sitting in the midst of the congregation tell us something about the condition of the synagogues and the teaching of the scribes?
Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of what Jesus calls the “Synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9), where a message of good works and human merit is preached rather than a message of forgiveness of sins and salvation in Christ. A demon would feel comfortable in the former setting!
In our text we could say that Jesus shook a demon out of his comfort zone. The Savior’s preaching, which caught the attention of the people, caused this “unclean spirit” to recoil violently so that he cried out, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Not only did Jesus speak with authority but at the same time He showed His authority over the demons. When Jesus spoke a simple command, the devil was forced to come out of the man and leave him unharmed.
Jesus defeated the devil for us once and for all when He died on the
cross and rose again.
However, we sinners still need to be sober and vigilant. The devil still prowls around seeking whom he may devour. He comes through a wide variety of temptations and snares.
We need to beware especially when we realize that demons are comfortable in churches today also. What else would we call it when spiritual leaders in Christian denominations deny the authority of Holy Scripture and mock and/or reject such Bible teachings as the virgin birth of Christ and His bodily resurrection from the dead?!
Fear not, fellow believers! Jesus’ power over the devil is transmitted through His Word. And as we continue in His Word, we will find safety and protection from all the attacks of the devil.
So long as we are in Jesus and His Word, we are safe. Through His Word He still drives the demons out of our lives.
Tho’ devils all the world should fill, All eager to devour us, We tremble not, we fear no ill, They shall not overpow’r us. This world’s prince may still Scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, He’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him.
BEGINNING A NEW SERIES: THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST
We begin a NEW series of devotional studies on the miracles of our Lord in this month’s issue.
In the Gospel of John we read: “…The Jews surrounded [Jesus] and said to Him, How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (10:24f, compare 5:36, 10:38).
Jesus did not want to be known as a “miracle worker.” Consider how often He directed first-hand witnesses to His marvelous works to “tell no man” who He was (Matthew 8:4, 16:20; Mark 7:36, 8:26; Luke 8:56). Yet to those who did not believe His words, Jesus pointed to His works as support for the fact that He was who He claimed to be, the very Son of God, the long promised Messiah and Savior of the world.
Simply put, He who created the world (see John 1:3!) had no difficulty performing supernatural deeds!
Our prayer is that these studies indeed reassure us that Jesus was and is whom He claimed
to be! —Editor