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What’s With the Demons?

Weekly Devotionals

What’s With the Demons?

Mark 1:21-28

21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “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!”

25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

27 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.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

When you read through the gospels, particularly the Gospel of Mark, you see a lot of demonic activity.  Now a lot of times when we hear the word, “demon” or “demonic,” it conjures up scary images from modern horror movies; and thus, this tends to produce fear in us if we’ve never encountered people who are demonized (I think this term is more accurate than demon-possessed).  But in this regard, we need to realize that Jesus with us (and the Holy Spirit in us) is incomparably greater than the power of any demon or Satan himself.  And when we are in the Lord, there’s nothing to worry about.

But what really stood out to me in this passage is the fact that at the beginning of Mark’s gospel, and thereby, the beginning of Jesus’ ministry there’s an encounter with a demon and a demonized person (something we hardly ever encounter, at least we’re not aware of it).  And not just that, but the demon(ized) is in the synagogue, the place where the people of God heard the Word of God and prayed!  What’s a demon(ized person) doing there?  And if it was there (of all places!), what’s to say there aren’t any demon(ized)s in our sanctuary when we gather?  Not to freak us out, but there probably are.

Notice, what was different about Jesus, such that he was able to drive out the demon?  His teaching was amazing and with authority.  That means before Jesus came on the scene, there was weak teaching with no authority.  There can be no replacement for the dynamic truth of the Word of God!  This has nothing to do with entertaining preachers and people we “like to listen to.”  The truth of God’s Word is unparalleled in defeating the works of the enemy, which is all about lies and deceit.  And when Jesus is in it, it is absolutely dynamic (the Greek word ‘dunamis’ means i.e. explosively powerful).

There is more demonic activity around us than we realize.  The people in the synagogue probably didn’t know.  And if they did, they probably just got used to it.  The same is likely to be true for us to some degree or other.  We must be aware of the devil’s schemes to steal, kill and destroy.  He’s all about death and oppression.  Jesus is about life and freedom.  Come under the Lord’s dynamic and authoritative teaching.