Richard Whitaker- Discipleship and Connections Pastor LHBC
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. (NIV) Mark 1:21-28
Who would have thought that Jesus would be noticed and called out by a demon while teaching in his base city of Capernaum? A demon possessed man was part of the local synagogue (gathering of the Jewish faithful) and likely a member of Jewish mainstream society!
Perhaps the man looked the part on the outside, maybe even gave and served alongside the people in some way. All the while providing this demon access to the local gathering of God’s people. With such close access, it appears that this crafty demon was just laying low until his evil grip was challenged by King Jesus.
This demon feared Jesus and for good reason. When Jesus speaks, he must listen. What Jesus says, he must do. Jesus was a threat to the demon’s plan to control and destroy this man and a threat to the devil’s plan to disrupt God’s people. Ultimately, the demon knew that Jesus threatened Satan’s end game – destroying all of humanity.
Demons prefer to remain hidden, existing undercover to quietly and subtly ruin lives. They dull our sense of urgency until we’re of little use to God’s kingdom. But, this crafty old demon had heard enough of Jesus’ teaching and blew his cover by crying out in front of everyone!
For this man, the demon’s days of control were about to end. Jesus made no incantation, he simply commanded the demon to be quiet and to come out and that’s exactly what happened. The people all saw what happened and you know what stood out to them? They recognized the authority of Jesus’ teaching and that his powerful rule extends over demonic forces.
The same power and authority that Jesus exercised over this man’s demon, is available to us. When Jesus speaks, the demons must listen. When he commands them to leave, they must go. Jesus is able to deliver us from besetting sins and the enemy’s plan to quietly subtly destroy us from the inside out. More than that, Jesus wants us to be free from Satan’s grip and living on mission for him.
In what ways do we find Jesus exercising authority over our lives today? What sins remain hidden today that need to come into the light. Jesus wants to deliver us from those chains and their harmful effects on us and the people we love. Let us confess our sins today and ask Jesus to command the demons to flee. Allow the presence of Jesus to fill us daily through the Godward rhythms of devoted prayer, meditating on scripture, fasting, and obeying Jesus.
Ask a life group leader or a pastor about joining a Life Transformation Group where you can be encouraged in your walk with Jesus and be held accountable for following through on your faith steps. May the people around us glorify God at the life changing work of Jesus in our lives. And, may this news of Jesus’ transforming work spread into every nook and cranny of our city so that the demons will flee to the fame of King Jesus.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, thank you for leaving no stones unturned in our lives. You search out even the hidden places where Satan has a stronghold and you make his demons flee. I need your grace to move forward into Godward rhythms that bring about an intimate walk with you and consistent victory over sin. I need courage to move ahead with some new ways of living so that your fame can spread through me. May it be all for you Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSES OF THE WEEK:
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.