Sunday Devotional: He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 14:04:12 +0000

eowyn2

Mark 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “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!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Jesus cast out demons

Only one of the following three can be true:

  1. The author of the Gospel of Mark was lying.
  2. Jesus was delusional in believing there are demons and that He has the ability to cast out demons.
  3. Mark was telling the truth — Jesus did drive out demons. That makes any priest or minister who refuses to address this subject a coward at best or, at worst, a liar by omission.

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. (La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.)” -Charles Baudelaire, Le Joueur généreux, 1864.

The pusillanimous avoidance of all mention of devil, demons, and Hell by too many priests and ministers may account for why Americans increasingly no longer believe in the Devil.

A 2013 Harris Poll found that although a majority (74%) of U.S. adults still said they believed in God, that’s down from the 82% in earlier years. Nearly one-fourth of Americans (23%) identified themselves as “not at all” religious, nearly double the 12% of six years ago in 2007. Belief in miracles, Heaven and other religious teachings also declined, including:

  • 68% believed that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72%;
  • 65% believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70%;
  • Only 58% (fewer than 6 out of every 10 Americans) believed in the devil and Hell, down from 62%.

How curious it is that while 68% believed that Jesus is God, only 58% believed in the devil, which would imply that those 10% think our Lord Jesus Christ was lying or hallucinating when He exorcised demons in Gospel passages like Mark 1:21-28. And these are Christians!

How can we armor ourselves against the Devil if we don’t even believe he exists? No wonder Americans increasingly are debauched and depraved. Increasingly, Satanism is a cool thing. See:

The real irony is, as recounted in Mark 1:21-28, the Devil and other demons most certainly believe in and fear Christ our Lord:

“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!”

In fact, we know from countless first-person testimonies that just invoking the name of Jesus Christ repels demons. And did you know that Richard Gallagher, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, says demonic possession is real?

What’s the best defense against the Devil and demonic possession?

Put on the armor of God; keep pure your body, mind, and soul; and be true to the First and Greatest Commandment of All (Mark 12:30):

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Jesus, I trust in You!

~Éowyn

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