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November 11, 2011

Jesus and Exorcism

Mark 1:25-26, Page 1558

    We saw yesterday that Jesus threw fear into the demon before him.  Today, we will see Jesus exercise His power over the demon.  This picture of Jesus casting out the demon should bring hope and comfort to our lives because Jesus loves everyone, even demon-possessed people.  Jesus proclaims liberty to captives, so that they may return to the Shepherd and Guardian of their souls. 

Mark 1:25, Page 1558

“And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!'”

        Jesus Rebuked Him.   In Mark 1:25, page 1558, Jesus rebuked the demon within the man.  Jesus commanded the demon directly, and completely comprehended the spiritual presence of the demon within the man.  In our lives, we must likewise depend upon Jesus and His power to resist the devil and his demons.   This term “rebuked” describes the action of Jesus in opposing and restraining the storming wind and sea (Mark 4:39, page 1565),  to warn the disciples to tell no one about Him (Mark 8:30, page 1573), to rebuke Peter for setting his mind on man’s interest and not God’s interest (Mark 8:33, page 1574), and to rebuke a deaf and mute spirit (Mark 9:25, page 1575).  As believers, we should be careful not to pronounce railing judgment against the devil and his demons, but to say “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 8-10, page 1912).

       Be Quit and Come Out of Him.  Jesus gives very specific commands to the demon: (1) be quiet and (2) come out of him (Mark 1:25, page 1558).  In the first command, we see Jesus silencing this demon who had already identified Him.  Jesus did not seek the testimony of demons, but carefully selected who would speak for Him and what message they would bring (remember the call of James, John, Simon and Andres to be fishers of men–they were in training to speak the Gospel of the Kingdom of God).  The second command requires the demon to leave the host.  Now the demon would begin looking for a new home, traveling through waterless places (Matthew 12:43, pages 1521-1522).  Notice that Jesus did not argue with the demon or question the demon.  He knew all about the demon and only commanded silence and deliverance.  Jesus exercised absolute power over demons, and they could not stand against His will.

Mark 1:26, Page 1558

“Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him”

       Throwing Him into Convulsions.   The phrase “throwing into convulsions” (“σπαράξαν“) arises from a single word in the original text.  New Testament writers used that single Greek term in two ways: (1) to describe the convulsions caused by a demon exiting a human host by the command and power of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:26, page 1558; Mark 9:26, page 1575) and (2) to picture the demon mauling a boy and causing convulsions in him (Luke 9:39, page 1617).  This term for convulsions always appears in connection with demonic activity.  Demons do not cause all convulsions.  But demons can cause convulsions, as we see when Jesus cast them out.  In Mark 1:26, page 1558, when the demon exits the body, it caused an extreme physical reaction, plainly visible to everyone around.  Everyone there in the synagogue witnessing Jesus displaying His power had proof that Jesus commanded the demons and they obeyed him (compare Matthew 9:34, page 1515; Mark 3:22-30, pages 1562-1563).  As we saw yesterday, demons often cried out with a loud voice, using the vocal chords of the host.

       The Demon Came out of Him.   As the absolute Creator and Almighty God, Jesus has the power to enforce His commands and no one may resist that power.  In this case, Jesus issued a command to the demon and the demon obeyed Jesus.  We read that the demon came out of the man (Mark 1:26, page 1558).  As we live every day of our lives, we need to remember that we struggle against spiritual forces of wickedness, but Jesus has the power to deliver us from all types of evil and protect our lives by His power.  Jesus also encourages us to help people suffering from demon possession to turn to Him for salvation and deliverance from satanic oppression.

        So we learn more about Jesus and exorcism today.

     ●  Jesus rebuked unclean spirits and commanded them to leave immediately, and they complied immediately.

    ● Jesus did not allow unclean spirits to speak for Him, although they recognized Him as the Holy One of God.

     ●  Unclean spirits threw people into convulsions when they departed the body at the command of Jesus Christ. 

Application for Today


        As I walk through life today, Jesus will be watching over me with His supreme spiritual power.  I intend to be more spiritually aware of the environment around me, and the people surrounding me.  I also intend to count upon the power of Jesus Christ in my life to resist the devil and his demons, while reaching out in the name of Jesus to people controlled by evil and demons.  Will you be relying upon Jesus to protect you from the power of demons and their evil at work in people today?

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