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Faithful Words

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Faithful Words

By The Staff

 

FAITHFUL WORDS Dr. Kenneth L. Faught     Jesus is Lord over demons   “For he had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ . . .and the unclean spirits came out….” (Mark 5:8, 13). Some think that in the 21st century we have become too sophisticated to believe in demonic activity. Meanwhile, the Devil has a field day exploiting our ignorance and our arrogance. We should never underestimate the presence and the power of evil in our world. This encounter with the Gadarene demoniac confronts us with the fact of demons. Herbert Lockyer wrote, “Any open-minded, honest reader of the Bible cannot escape the conclusion that Jesus believed in the Devil and demons.” Apparently the purpose of demons is two-fold, to oppose the divine purpose and to hinder human welfare. Yet, the future judgment of demons has already been determined (See Revelation 20:10). In Mark’s story we have a specific example of Jesus’ power over evil. He commanded the demons to “come out” and they came out. The source of Jesus’ power is his oneness with the Father. All New Testament miracles are intended to demonstrate the identity of Jesus. The Gospel writers use such words as “power”, “wonder”, “sign”, and “work” to indicate that there is a message behind the miracle- Jesus is the divine Son of God. Jesus never performed miracles for his own benefit. He addressed needs in the realm of the spiritual, offering forgiveness, cleansing, and wholeness. He addressed needs in the realm of the physical, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and even raising the dead. He addressed needs in the realm of nature, calming the storm and walking on the water. The reactions of the people to this exorcism were mixed. The witnesses fled in fear and excitement. They told what they had seen “in the city and in the country.” The crowds asked Jesus to depart from their country, perhaps fearing his power or unwilling to have their own lives changed. While religion can be comforting, real Christian faith can be unsettling! Mark ends his story by reminding us that Jesus expects us to follow him, he expects faithfulness in witnessing, “Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you,’ and he expects fruit-bearing.  Frank Stagg wrote, “When Jesus comes the devils must go.”   Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.