“On Your Mark”
Deliverance from Evil (Chapter 1 Verses 21-28)
Whether in the street or synagogue Jesus continues to preach, and teach. He never passes by the opportunity of doing people spiritual good. Of course the Lord himself was faithful in his attendance at God’s house, there is a lot to be said for this. It is a good witness when our neighbours see us on a Sunday heading for Church, both services, I mean Sunday is the Lord’s Day, a whole day specially, lovingly, devoted to him, given to him. The Lord made Capernaum his Galilean base, what a privilege, what a responsibility for those people who lived there? The people were amazed at his teaching v22, the authority behind it. It is only when the word of God is proclaimed in such authority that the Kingdom of God advances. The consciences of people are pierced, hearts are convinced of the reality of God, sin, and Jesus as being the full, final and express revelation of God (Hebrews 1.1-3). In this day of inoffensive, propositional preaching, ministers do well to ask themselves before they ascend the pulpit steps, who are they going to offend, God or man? Where the authoritative word of God is declared and received, it is there that the kingdom of God comes, the loving and powerful rule of God.
Where God’s word and work advances, there is bound to be opposition (vv23- 24). This poor victim of the devil is possessed by evil spirits, unbelieving commentators seek to minimize, or explain away such phenomena. We do no such thing, we know about the reality and personality of evil, and so we clothe ourselves each day with God’s provided armour (Ephesians 6.10ff). The man was not sick, he was not insane, he was full of evil spirits, the Bible clearly distinguishes between that which is disease and that which is evil, it never mixes the two. Jesus addressed these demons, and they answered him (v25), those devils themselves shame the unbelief of men (James 2.19). Is it not also a rebuke to unbelief that people have problems with the divinity of Jesus Christ, but demons don’t (Matthew 8.29; Mark 5.7)? The question asked by the demons must be answered in the affirmative (1John 3.8), that is exactly why the Son of God came, became incarnate, to set men free (Luke 4.18-19), from the tyranny of Satan (2Timothy 2.26). The devil’s destructive, detestable, dirty ways, seeking to destroy the lives of people. Yes! Most definitely and emphatically, Jesus Christ came to seek and save (Luke 19.10), to cleanse (1John 1.7), to redeem the whole character of men and women.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)