The Authority of Christ’s Deeds (Mark 1:23-28)

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The Authority of Christ’s Deeds

Who is your daddy? Mark 1:23-28–part 2


Picture this real life, world-changing scene.  “We are 500 yards from the beach and are ordered to get down.  Minutes later the boat stops and begins to toss in the waves.  The ramp goes down, and without hesitation my leader, Corporal John Gibson, jumps out over his waist in water.  He makes a few yards and is killed.  We have landed on a pillbox with a machine gun blazing away at us.”

This is the recollection of Jim Wilkins, B Company, on June 6, 1944–D-day.  As soon as Wilkins splashes into the water, “something hit my left magazine pouch and stops me up short.  The round had gone right through two magazines, entered my left side and came out my back.”

“Come on! Come on!”  yells his gun mate, Kenny.  “I’m coming! I’m coming!” Wilkins yells back.  They are now up to their knees in water.  He recalls, “You can hear a kind of buzzing sound all around, as well as the sound of the machine gun itself.  All of a sudden something slapped the side of my right leg, and then a round caught me dead center up high on my right leg causing a compound fracture.  By this time, I was flat on my face in the water–I’ve lost my rifle, my helmet is gone, and Kenny is still yelling at me to come on.”  Why this scene?

Mark Galli says this—“The synagogue service in Capernaum is Jesus’s D-day, his beach landing to recapture lost territory, a battle with the forces of evil that rain down terror on him, it is the beginning of eschatological war” (Mark Galli, p. 41, 42).  Turn to Mark 1 and follow along with your outline.

I’ve titled our message “The Authority of Christ’s Deeds”.  It is a confrontation in the synagogue between a demon-possessed man and the Son of God!  The key to understanding this marvelous section is found in the statement in verse 22, “one having authority,” and verse 27, “a new teaching with authority.”  The message Christ preached was authoritative.  In verse 15 it was “Repent and believe.”  Christ’s call to discipleship and evangelism was authoritative in verse 16 to 20–it was “follow Me”.  And now Christ teaches with authority and commands the enemy with authority.

So before us are two scenes that demonstrate one vital truth, namely the authority of Jesus in word and in deed.  Last week we saw His words as authoritative (verses 21 to 22).  And today we will see His deeds are authoritative (23 to 28).  But let’s read the entire passage, and as you do, picture this moment and reverence Christ’s authority—become amazed just as they were amazed.

Mark 1:21 to 28, “They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, ‘What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!’ 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’ 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’ 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.”

Our culture loves a scary story–endless movies portray psychos, monsters, ghosts, devils and demons.  But along with the thrill of a quick scare, non-believers and believers have formed errant thinking about the unseen world.  So today, and as we progress through this gospel, allow God and His Word to help you to understand the only truth about the devil and His demons.

Yet even in this, exercise caution.  C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existence.  The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.  They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

Though some in our culture deny their existence today, the majority are captivated by wizards, spirits, alien beings, and apocalyptic “end of the world” scenarios.  Research documents that unbelievers in our culture today are more prone to believe in superstition, the paranormal, and pseudo-science than believers.  Yet with believers, reality and fantasy have merged to create a confusing and often unbiblical view of the demonic realm.

Many believers, churches, and ministries are preoccupied with Satan and demons.  They view virtually everything that goes wrong in a Christian’s life as the direct result of demonic activity, the cure for which is to exorcise the demon responsible.  But here is what you must know–genuine believers cannot be possessed by demons, and need not be terrified of them.  There is no confusion in the Bible regarding Satan and his demon army–the Bible clearly describes to us their origin, present activity and their final destiny.

What does God tell us?  Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28 and Revelation 12 tell us that originally, Satan and his demons were holy angels.  Satan was the highest-ranking of all of them.  They lived in heaven, where they served and worshiped God.  But sin entered Satan’s heart through pride, and he rebelled against God, and one-third of the holy angels joined him in the attempted coup.

Luke 10, Job 1 and Revelation 12 tell us as a result of their pride and rebellion, they were cast out of heaven along with their leader, though they still are granted access to heaven for now.  During the Tribulation, after a climactic battle with Michael and the holy angels, Satan and the demons will be permanently cast out of heaven.  But in this present age, demons operate in the world to achieve the purposes of Satan, and thwart the purposes of God.  They are behind the evil world system that dominates the lives of all those who do not belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

John 8:44, Ephesians 2, 1 John 5, and 2 Corinthians 4 and 11 tell us Jesus declared that all unbelievers are children of Satan, and the whole unbelieving world is in Satan’s power.  Satan is the god or ruler of this world who blinds unbelievers to spiritual truth, and leads them to deception.  Although Jesus was accused of being demon-possessed in the gospel of John, and demons are alluded to in four New Testament epistles, in the New Testament, demonic activity is mainly confined to Matthew, Mark, Luke and Acts, as the demons made their supreme assault on Jesus and the apostles.  They are real, personal, fallen spiritual beings who are wholly given to wickedness.

So now, as Mark starts up his GO gospel, up to this point he has focused on the credentials of the person of Christ.  He told us Christ’s coming was planned before the foundation of the world, announced by the forerunner, affirmed by the Father, empowered by the Spirit and victorious over sin and evil, defeating the devil in the wilderness.  He describes Christ’s message–the good news is that God has provided salvation for His own.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God come in the flesh, the God man, the Savior and only hope for anyone worldwide to be forgiven.

And now, as Jesus teaches with absolute authority, it not only shocks the people of Capernaum, it forces a reaction from the demonic world.  Plus, it exposes Jesus’s power over both the physical and spiritual realms.  It demonstrates His authority over everyone and everything, including demons, religion, religious leaders, disease, sickness, nature and even death.

But why does Mark begin showing Christ’s authority over demons?  If Jesus is to free those held in bondage by Satan and his demons, He has to be able to break their power over the souls of men to free them from the kingdom of Satan.  Just as God promises Christians in Colossians 1:13, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.  It’s precisely that power over the demonic realm our Lord demonstrates in this passage.  The evil spirits knew why Jesus had come.  They are also well-aware of the fate Jesus has pronounced against them in Matthew 25:41, everlasting torment in the “eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”

The birth, life and now public ministry of the Son of God, who came to save sinners, intensified the age-long battle for the souls of men.  In desperation, during His earthly ministry, the evil spirits launched their most widespread and visible assault ever.  And this visible battle now begins in Mark 1:23.  As the battle commences, it reveals four great truths about Christ.

#1  The preaching of Christ causes a reaction

Mark 1:21 to 23, “They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out.”  Last week we studied the authority of Christ’s words in verses 21 to 22.  The Greek word authority literally means out of the original stuff.  It comes from the same root as the word author.

They were not hearing another person’s opinion, or even someone who is telling them about the Scripture. They were hearing the original author Himself declare the only truth that exists.  They were hearing God Himself give them His Word.  The Living Word was speaking God’s words.  It wasn’t, “Thus saith the Lord,” but, “Thus saith Me, the Lord.”  And as a result of powerful words being taught by the Living Word, the demon-possessed man cried out.

Verse 23 again, “Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out.”  See the first two words—“just then.”  Just as the congregation was thunderstruck with amazement at Jesus’s authoritative words–just as their mouths gaped open–just as they were most in awe, this possessed man SCREAMS.  “Cried out” is a cry of terror–a horrible shriek of fear.  Can you imagine the fear and shock that ran through those listeners gathered in the synagogue that morning?

Mark says “in their synagogue,” pointing to the regular attenders and implying that the man was not one of their usual members.  It’s the new visitor who causes the problem here.  New visitors, welcome to FBC today.  But if you’re possessed, get saved or go away.  This man was possessed by an unclean spirit–literally in a spirit unclean, which describes the man as under the control of an evil spirit.

Unclean may imply estrangement from God, who is pure.  But most likely it describes the moral nature of this demon as one who is impure, foul, defiled and contaminated–driving this unsaved man further into immoral wickedness.  The New Testament tells us once possessed, demons often influence their hosts by promoting false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1), false worship (1 Corinthians 10:20 to 21), immorality (1 Timothy 4:1 to 3), or attitudes of jealousy, divisiveness, and pride (James 3:13 to 16).

The demon took possession of this man, which gave him control of the man, and spoke audibly out of this man.  The Lord Jesus Christ’s powerful preaching unnerved this particular demon, and he cried out with a loud voice right in the middle of Christ’s message.  The demon felt the authority of God Himself–the demon knew he was in the presence of His Sovereign, the Son of God, who had come to invade the kingdom of darkness and free many held captive by the devil, by bringing them to salvation.

And this is not insanity–demon possession was never confused with insanity in the New Testament.  The demons were always rational when they spoke–they understood who Jesus was, and that He was going to destroy them.  Even when a demon addressed unbelievers, he spoke rationally, saying to some would-be exorcists in Acts 19:15, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

As you read the gospels, it becomes obvious demon possession was a major front in the attack of the enemy at this time.  Though not as intense during the ministry of the apostles, demonic activity will again increase during the Tribulation.  In fact, in Revelation 9 demons bound in the bottomless pit will be released to join those already operating on earth, to wreak havoc.

So what exactly is demon possession?  The New Testament gives us a few different phrases to describe possession.  People are said to have a demon or an evil spirit sixteen times, to be demon possessed thirteen times, and to have or be afflicted by a demon fourteen times in the New Testament.  All those descriptions confirm that a demon-possessed individual is indwelt, controlled, and tormented by a demon.  Then New Testament authors will add words like “entered him”,  “cast out”, “came out”, “come out”, and “coming out” indicating that demons indwell their victims.  Like Acts 8:7, “For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice.”

Therefore, demon possession is a supernatural phenomenon, not explicable in psychological or physical terms (though there can be physical symptoms associated with it).  On no occasion when Jesus delivered someone from demon possession was there a reference to forgiveness of sins–nor did all those who were delivered repent and believe.  The demon-possessed individuals whom Jesus delivered were not necessarily any more wicked than other sinners.  The emphasis is on Jesus’s power over the demons, not on the individuals being delivered.  The New Testament seems to be telling us now that Jesus and the apostles have passed from the scene, and the only way to be delivered from demons is through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Turn to Matthew 12:43 to 45.  Jesus gives us a helpful illustration to understand demon possession–“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” The demon-possessed person is likened to a house, once again showing that demons indwell their victims.

For some unspecified reason, this demon left his victim.  It may be that he sought another more suitable person to indwell.  It may be that he was annoyed by the attempts of exorcists (like the sons of Sceva in Acts 19), and decided to leave.  It may even be that he was cast out by Jesus from an individual who never came to saving faith in Christ.  In any case, the demon left his victim and “passed through waterless places seeking rest, and did not find it.”

Unable to find a better situation, the demon decided to return to the “house from which he came.”  When he returned, the demon found the house “unoccupied, swept, and put in order,” which is a reference to moral and religious reform apart from true salvation.  And those external changes made him an even more attractive host for the demon and his buds since demons can disguise themselves better as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14 to 15) in outwardly religious people.  The net effect was “the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

The point is, ritual exorcisms and efforts at self-reform apart from true salvation will not free anyone from Satan’s kingdom.  Only those who have faith in Christ Jesus are Colossians 1:13, rescued from the domain of darkness, and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son.  There are some who assert that true Christians can be fully demon-possessed and not merely influenced by demons.  Fred Dickason, in his book Angels Elect and Evil, writes, “A genuine Christian may become possessed at least to some degree, even to the point where they speak with strange voices or in foreign languages.”  Yet Dickason gives no biblical evidence to support that claim, but offers evidence only from the mission fields and counseling sessions.

I and many respected theologians counter that claim with these words, “There is no clear example in the Bible where a demon ever inhabited or invaded a true believer.  Never in the New Testament epistles are believers warned about the possibility of being inhabited by demons.  Neither do we see anyone rebuking, binding, or casting demons out of a true believer.  The epistles never instruct believers to cast out demons, whether from a believer or unbeliever.  Christ and the apostles were the only ones who cast out demons, and in every instance, the demon-possessed people were unbelievers.”

The collective teaching of Scripture is that demons can never spatially indwell a true believer.  Is that not the implication of 2 Corinthians 6:15 to 16, where it declares the indwelling Holy Spirit could never cohabit with demons?  “Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’”

Again in Colossians 1:13 Paul says, our God “delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”  Salvation brings true deliverance and protection from Satan.  In Romans 8:37 Paul says, “We overwhelmingly conquer through Christ.”  In 1 Corinthians 15:57 he says God gives us the victory.  In 2 Corinthians 2:14 he says God always leads us in triumph.  In 1 John 2:13 John says we have overcome the evil one.  And in 4:4 he says the indwelling Holy Spirit is greater than Satan.  How could anyone affirm those glorious truths, yet believe demons can indwell genuine believers?

So back to Mark 1–here is this demon-possessed man who, overwhelmed in the presence of His sovereign while the Living Word preaches the written Word with such authority, is unable to contain his terror.  So he cracks the awesome silence, and in the middle of Christ’s sermon startles everyone with a scream.

Have you ever lived where there are cockroaches?   One of the apartments I lived in could not get rid of them.  And late at night, when you turned on the lights, they would scurry for the darkness.  It was like you said, “On your mark, get set, go,” and they’d run.  We’d grab the fly swatter and go to town on them before they could all get away.  Just like cockroaches, demons can’t stand being in the light.  And now, God who is Light is standing right in front of him, speaking the truth, and demons who love darkness and whose nature is deception, can’t stand light or truth–so he screams.

Whenever demons were confronted by Christ, the God man, they reacted with sheer terror, and often screamed aloud.  James 2:19 even tells us, “You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder [shiver, dread, afraid].”  Demons tremble before their creator and His truth.

What does the demon ask?  Verse 24 says, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?”  As Jesus preached the good news that He had come to deliver the poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed, the dreaded reality of his ultimate doom hit the demon, and he panicked.  Demons would rather remain undercover, especially in a religious environment, but he couldn’t.  Some Greek manuscripts indicate the demon first screamed, “Let us alone,” then adds, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?”  The phrase “what business do we have with each other” is literally, “What is it to us and to You?”

It’s an idiomatic expression meaning, “Why are you attacking us?”  And the reason the demon says, “Jesus is of Nazareth” is not merely acknowledging who Jesus really is, and that Christ spent a great deal of His life in Nazareth.  No, the demon is also saying to Jesus, “You don’t belong here in Capernaum, go back home to Nazareth.”  In other words, “Get out of town–you have no business with us right now–mind your own business–he’s mine.”  There was an instant recognition they were on opposite sides.

A pastor friend of mine was dealing with a demon-possessed woman once, who spoke with another voice and flipped a metal desk in front of them with two fingers.  This demon immediately recognized my pastor friend and said to him, “Not him, get him out of here.”

Now, as you sit there in the Capernaum synagogue, all the attention is turned from the authoritative words of Christ to the authoritative actions of Christ–what do we witness?

#2  The purpose of Christ is exposed

Verse 24 is saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us?”  The demon was terrified, not only because he knew who Jesus was, but also because he understood what the Lord’s purpose was for him and his fellow demons.  First John 3:8 states that purpose succinctly–“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”  Destroy means, “ruin,” “bring to nothing,” “abolish,” or “bring to an end.”

The demons have been sentenced to eternal torment in hell for their rebellion against God.  And this demon was terrified that Jesus was going to carry out that sentence right then and there, and send him to the bottomless pit.  The book of Revelation unfolds God’s ultimate plan for Satan and the demons.  In chapter 20:1 to 3 the apostle John wrote, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”

After the Tribulation, as Jesus prepares for His thousand-year earthly reign, He will imprison Satan (and by implication, the demons) in the abyss. The abyss is currently the temporary place of imprisonment for some of the demons (those who sinned in Genesis 6; 1 Peter 3:18 to 20; Jude 6).  It is not their final place of punishment–their final punishment is the lake of fire.

Jesus says in Matthew 25:41, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”  But the abyss will be the holding cell, so to speak, for Satan and all the demons during the millennium.  Then after one last, desperate assault on God and His people in Revelation 20:7 to 9, Satan and the demons will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will undergo eternal punishment, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

So this fearful demon in Mark 1 is afraid of what Christ will do–like Matthew 8:29, “Have You come to torment us before our time?”  And like Luke 8:31, “And they [demons] were entreating Him not to command them to depart into the abyss.”  In Mark 1:24, when the demon says, “Have you come to ‘destroy us’?  Destroy is plural, telling us either the man is possessed by more than one demon, or possibly this evil spirit knows that the Lord’s purpose is not merely to defeat one demon, but to destroy the entire fraternity.

#2  God’s purpose is seen here in Christ destroying the works of the devil

But there is something else exposed.

#3 The purity of Christ is declared

What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have You come to destroy us?”  I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”  Did you notice the switch of personal pronouns between the plural and singular?  Destroy “us”, and “I know.”  It could be dual personalities that are at work in demon possession.  But don’t miss the really scary part of what is declared here.  It is entirely possible to know who Jesus is, and be perverted and twisted at the same time.  Unlike atheists, liberal theologians, and cultists, the demons know exactly who Jesus is.  In fact, in the first half of Mark’s gospel, they are the only ones who are sure He is the Son of God.

Expressing the sheer terror of one who is absolutely wicked in the presence of the One who is absolutely holy, the demon screamed, “I know who You are–the Holy One of God.”  Like the rest of his fellow demons, this one was forced to acknowledge that Jesus is the absolutely Holy Son of God.  Again, James 2:19 reminds us demons have greater understanding of the character of God than most believers.  “You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”

One of the most important truths to embrace in life is to see your sinfulness in light of God’s holiness and purity.  Only then will you cry out for the mercy of God to save you.  In your sin, you stand condemned.  But exchanging all that you are for all that Christ is in repentance and faith, can justify you, so that you stand before God in His righteousness and not your sin.

A demon can’t do that–a demon can’t be saved, because a demon can’t die–and the wage that had to be paid for sin was death.  So what does the demon try to do?  He tries to control Christ.

It was commonly believed that the knowledge of another’s name brought control over him.  The demon was seeking to control Christ by calling Him by His name.  This happened a lot with demons, like Mark 3:11, “Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’”  Again in the Capernaum synagogue, you could hear a pin drop as everyone watches this go down–next showing.

#4  The power of Christ is revealed

Verse 25 to 26, “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’ 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.”  Jesus did not want or need the testimony of hell.  Therefore He silenced demons whenever they affirmed His true identity.  Mark says Jesus rebuked him–rejected his testimony, and said, “Be quiet,”–be gagged!  The word is used for muzzling an ox–an enforced silence.  The same word was also used in Mark 4:39 when Jesus silenced the storm.  One translation says, “Shut your mouth.”

Jesus does not want nor need the testimony of a demon.  To have accepted this testimony would at once have exposed Christ to the charge of being in league with Satan.  Then Christ gives a sharp command, “And come out of him,” demanding and getting instant obedience.

Then verse 26, “Throwing him into convulsions.”  He is literally being torn apart and thrown to the floor.  If you have witnessed a serious seizure, you know it looks like someone is being torn apart–it’s not a pretty sight.  Verse 26, and the “unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice.”  Again, a horrible, possibly angry shriek–his mouth is wide open, just like everyone watching in the room.  This demon cries out, using this man’s vocal chords.  It must have been a frightening voice in the midst of a ghastly scene.

And finally, verse 26, the “demon came out of him.”  Yielding immediately to Christ’s authority, the demon leaves the man with only a final burst of demonic rage.  Jesus did not recite any incantations or perform any rituals–there was no discussion, debate, or struggle.  He spoke and the demon had no choice but to instantly obey.  So when the demon had thrown the man down in the midst of the people in a final, futile act of defiance, he reluctantly came out of him (Luke tells us) without doing him any harm.  Jesus, in His compassion, prevented the demon from hurting the man.  The battle is over, Christ is victorious, Jesus wins.  Christ has all authority.

So what is the response of the people watching this?  Verse 27, “They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, ‘What is this?  A new teaching with authority!  He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”  Amazed is awe, great prolonged astonishment.  Let me show you.

Can you imagine writing home about this one?  “Dear Mom, today in synagogue you’ll never believe what happened!”  This is not a fantasy Harry Potter movie made in a studio.  This is real–the God man with authority over forces of darkness.  These people were so shocked, verse 27 says they “debated among themselves.”  They kept turning to each other and asking each other over and over, present tense, “Did you see that?”

Jewish exorcism, which was a joke, was all bound up in magical formulas.  But what they just witnessed, verse 27 says, was “a new teaching with authority.”  “New” is kainos.  There are two words for “new”–neos, referring to that which is new as to the matter of time, and kainos, not under the aspect of time, but of quality.  The new, as set over against that which is outworn or marred through use–compared to the stilted, staid, dry as dust rabbinical droning, this teaching of Jesus was like the fragrance of a field of flowers in the springtime.  Kenneth Wuest says it was “fresh with the dew of heaven upon it.”

Over and over they kept saying, He “commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”  This was not a special magical formula, but one powerful command.  Our Lord has the hosts of Satan under His absolute power at all times.  Unwilling and incorrigible as they are, He can command them at will, and they must and will obey Him instantly.  Who is this who can create such obedience?  Jesus Christ is the Son of God–the God-man who has all authority.

Did this event make a difference in the community?  You bet.  Verse 28, “Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.”  The entire northern region of Israel now knows something amazing is happening in their midst.  The big question is this–do you realize something amazing is happening in our midst as well, today, right now?

This event and last week’s verses demonstrate one vital truth–the authority of Jesus Christ in word and deed.  But don’t ever think our Lord’s word today has lost power.  He remains as authoritative in word and deed today.  And we are called upon to hear and obey, no matter what.

Mark Galli continues—“One cannot help but recognize that the plight of the demoniac is an especially dramatic picture of ANYONE in whom the battle of good and evil rages and in whom evil seems to be winning, when we feel we are up to our knees in water, a great buzzing sound all around, crawling up a beach with a shattered leg while a machine gun continually tries to take us out–death, fatigue, and confusion all around.  Is this not, at times, a nearly perfect description of the spiritual life?” (Galli, p. 42, 43)

But this event is not merely a victory over demonic forces for Christ’s advantage.  Our Lord’s victory is not at the expense of Satan’s victims, but for their benefit.  Not only is a demon exorcised, but broken people are restored to their Creator, people find a new life, forgiveness, joy and peace.

Jesus Christ can change your entire world with one word.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 to 30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Let’s pray.

About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.