Thursday, November 25, 2010

With Authority and Power


“With authority and power” (Luke 4:36)

Reading the gospels is a really amazing experience. I am going through Mark and Luke currently seeing how these two gospels are different, in the fact that the writers, Mark and Luke, are two different men with different professions and how that plays out in their writing style. I have also seen how stories tie into to one another in separate gospel accounts. Many great things have taken place but one thing I have noticed is the fact that the demons have constantly known who Jesus is. They know he comes “with authority and power.”

“In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God’.” (Luke 4:33-34)

This is an amazing encounter. Keep in mind this is taking place in the synagogue. This is not some possessed man out in the street. Jesus is teaching at this time when the demons, speaking through the man, start asking Jesus questions. The demons know who he is. They understand he is the Holy One of God who is able to destroy them. The demons know Jesus is God.

One startling contradiction to the demons belief is the belief of the scribes when they say Jesus performs his miracles by the power of “Beelzebul.” They say he casts out demons by the “prince of demons.” The demons recognized Jesus as the Holy One of God yet the scribes, who were religious teachers, saw him as a man possessed by Satan. The scribes saw him as nothing more than a man yet the demons knew he was God “with authority and power.”

The natural question at this point is: Do you see yourself more like a scribe or a demon? I definitely do not think we should ask that question. What we need to ask is do we have more than just a knowledge of who Christ is? Or are you currently in a state of rebellion against him? Having just knowledge makes no better than the demons and rejecting Jesus as the Christ makes you nothing more than a God rejecting religious person. These are both the wrong places to be. But the Good News is Christ. The Good News is that the One who performed these miracles we read in the Scriptures is still miraculously giving life to dead souls by his grace.

Jesus speaks to the demons saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” As the man was relieved of his demon possession so he does the same for sinners who humbly come in repentance and ask for his saving grace. The Father takes us out of the dominion of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of light (Col. 1:12-14). We are not longer under the possession of the prince of darkness but we are made sons and daughters of our heavenly Father through his Son’s atoning blood. The Holy Spirit is the saving agent who illumines our hearts and minds to the Gospel. “With authority and power” he breaks the chains of sin and replaces deadness with eternal life.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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