November 25, 2011
Demons and Diseases
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Some people confuse demons with disease, but Jesus carefully distinguished between them. Diseases Jesus healed, and demons He cast out, not permitting them to speak. As we have already seen in a previous study about demons, Jesus exercised absolute power over them. In our study today, we will see that we should not confuse spiritual demons with physical disease.
Bringing to Jesus. Throughout the Gospels, we read about people bringing other people to Jesus for help. In this passage, we see that people recognized in Jesus the power to heal disease and also the power to cast out demons (Mark 1:32). Jesus had absolute authority over all disease and healed everyone who came to Him for help with physical sickness. As we saw yesterday, we need to be sure to bring the people we love to Jesus when they are sick. His power works today in the same way He worked on earth touching the sick. Jesus never promised to heal us from every physical affliction–as we saw with Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10); Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27); and Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23). He did promise to love us always and to make His power known through our physical weaknesses, helping us to endure them and shine for Him (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Demon-Possessed. Because we have treated this subject previously, we can spend less time here. But, let me emphasize that the text clearly distinguishes between physical illness and demonic possession. Jesus did not confuse the two problems, and we should not either. I am struck by how little people think about the demonic world in which we live. Jesus called satan the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and described him further as the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), who has demons to serve him, as satan rules this world (John 12:31-32). We should never underestimate the evil and destructive power of this present darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Through Christ, by faith in Him alone, we have been transferred out of the domain of darkness, ruled by satan, and into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ, and His rule in our lives (Colossians 1:13). When we encounter people controlled by demons, then we should bring them to Jesus, for His power to remove the demon and transfer them into His kingdom by faith alone.
The Whole City. Jesus performed such miracles that everyone wanted to be healed or freed from demons. The whole city apparently did not gain salvation, because they did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, who would give His life as a ransom for their sins. I love to read the Gospels and see how Jesus had such a tremendous and powerful effect upon every place that He visited. Wherever He went, things got better. The same principle applies today. When we live closely with Jesus, then our lives dramatically improve. Jesus promised to bring us abundant life, filled with joy over His presence in our lives. I love feeling the presence of Jesus in my life, and I know that even when I slip in sin, He still loves me and abides with me forever. Recently, a woman at the beach told me that Jesus had saved her and promised her eternal life. She said she was going to heaven because “He can’t take it back!” She said it so emphatically that I just loved hearing it. The whole city came to Jesus because He healed them and cast out demons. But Jesus offered them eternal life and forgiveness of sins, which most of them rejected.
Jesus Healed Various Diseases. Jesus healed many diseases (Mark 1:34). When patients visit their doctors today, doctors have to diagnose your disease from an array of more than five thousand diseases. Jesus knew every disease, and His power worked on all of them. Lepers, paralytics, hands, legs, eyes, ears, and every part of the human body He knew completely as God. He made the body, and understands it at the sub-atomic level. His power heals all diseases and everyone in town had a great day that day. We should never underestimate the power of Jesus to heal. He does not have to use the gift of healing in a man to heal anyone today. He can still do it directly, through His power.
Jesus Cast out Many Demons. Did you notice that this town had many demons living in people of that town? Many demons. Today, we never really hear much about demons, but they still fight against believers every day and control people all the time. Jesus cast those many demons out by His power, and we should be careful to wear the full armor of God every day (Ephesians 6:10-17; Romans 13:12).
Jesus Did Not Permit Them To Speak. Jesus did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him (Mark 1:34). As we have seen before, Jesus was very careful to silence the demons, because they would identify Him as the Son of God to the crowd. Jesus did not intend that demons should speak of Him, because they were known liars, and servants of the father of lies (John 8:44). Jesus would choose His own words and appoint His own men and women to spread the good news of salvation, but satan and his minions had no part in the truth or in Jesus and His ministry.
So we learn more about service to demons and disease today.
● Jesus healed diseases, but cast out demons. They were not the same problem, and no one should ever confuse them.
● Jesus had an entire city show up for healing and exorcism.
● Jesus cast out demons, but never permitted them to speak, because they knew Him.
Application for Today
As I walk through life today, I may see people with diseases and demons. Jesus can take care of both of those issues, but I need to bring people with those problems to Jesus, for His divine help. Will you be bringing people to Jesus for His help today?