It was evident that the demons knew who Jesus was. In this section of scripture we see a man possessed by a demon and the demon crying out to Jesus, “Ah! 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.” (Verse 34) The demons recognised the power of God in Jesus and stood in fear knowing they were on the brink of destruction.
Jesus silenced the demons in this man telling them to be quiet and to come out of him. The demons obeyed for even they recognised the power and authority of God. This reminds me of the words of James who said, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder.” (James 2:19) And yet many of those who lived at that time and saw his mighty works and heard his ministry and teachings did not believe. It is no different today for still there are many who refuse to believe in the only name that can save a man from sin and death, and give the hope of the promise of eternal life which is all possible in the name of Jesus.
The demons stood in fear of Christ. The demons believed and recognised Jesus’ power, but they will not be saved. The salvation that exists today is given to men and women who believe in the saving power and the grace of God to bring us to perfection in Jesus Christ. Perfection is the ultimate aim, and it is possible. Jesus was perfect and we are to be transformed into his image, which is perfection. Jesus himself taught that if we follow him we can become perfect saying, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21) The key to perfection was not in selling and giving to the poor, for that is a ministry of works. But the key is in following Jesus. In the example from Matthew Jesus was talking to a rich young man and he had a problem with money. Thus the Lord told him to forgo all of that for it would stand between him and God and prevent him from following Jesus. The key is to let nothing stand in the way of your salvation through following Jesus.
Man is in bondage. This man in the Luke verses was in bondage to demon possession and Jesus set him free. The rich man in the Matthew verses was in bondage to the love of money and he needed to be set free but was not prepared to make the break.
The basis of the work and ministry of Jesus was to set man free from all things that bind him. Jesus came to take away the sins of the world as John the Baptist said. (John 1:29) Casting out demons showed that Jesus had the power to set us free from spiritual bondage. Healing the sick showed that he had the power to set man free from physical bondage too. But the focal point in all of this is that we need to have faith to receive the freedom that the Lord offers. Even among Christians there are many who are still bound in things they should or could be set free from, if they would allow the Lord to do the work in their lives. Too often we stand in the way and try to do it all ourselves, but we must remember that this is a spiritual war and the weapons of our warfare against all forms of bondage are spiritual. Let us then turn ourselves over to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who will fight on our behalf and who has already won the victory which he now offers to those who believe.
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