Kingdom of God
in 13 Weeks
Power Over Demons. Learning About Demons: Week 10
Observing the Stuff!
Yet another reason offered for the miracles of Jesus is that he had compassion on people in need. Certainly we are shown his compassion in the Gospels (the widow's son, (Mark 7.11-17); the feeding of the five thousand, (Mark 6.30-42). However, it must be pointed out that Jesus did not heal everyone that he passed. In the stories we have in the Gospels, he left many sick and hungry, actually more people than he healed and fed.
If miracles were rewards for people's faith, then it follows that one left unhealed who has genuine faith might deduct that his or her faith is insufficient. If miracles are evidence of the compassion of Jesus, the unhealed person might come to believe that in his or her case Jesus has no compassion. We must look elsewhere to discover the purpose of the works of Jesus.
Remember, the words and works of Jesus are identical. There is no difference between them. The works have the exact same meaning as the words. The words of Jesus announce that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The works of Jesus demonstrate what the Kingdom of God is like. His preaching, teaching, parable-telling, healing ministry were announcements of the fact that the Kingdom had arrived and the rule of God would destroy the rule of Satan.
It seems certain, then, that the miracles of Jesus should be
understood in the context of warfare with Satan. John understood this concept
when he wrote, The whole world is in the power of the evil one
John 5.19). Paul tells the Corinthians that Satan is the god of this world
Cor. 4.4). In his circular letter to the churches around Ephesus he told
the congregations that the church does not fight against flesh and blood, the
real enemy is Satan. He described the frightening dimensions of satanic power
and insisted that his readers stand against their cosmic foe, the
principalities and powers, the world rulers of this present darkness. Paul is
convinced that this Present Evil Age is entangled in the snares of Satan and
estranged from God and under the rule of fallen powers and principalities
The New Testament believes that while Satan is not in control of the world, he does have limited power and authority. The ills and woes of mankind originate with him. Suffering, tragedy, and pain are not punishments of an angry God. They are the result of living in a fallen world and are sometimes a direct attack of the kingdom of Satan.
The miracles of Jesus are attacks on Satan and his demonic forces and reverse the stronghold of Satan and demonstrate the Kingdom of God. Jesus both announced the Kingdom with his words and carved out an arena in which the Kingdom invaded the rule of Satan with his works.
The miracles of Jesus can be viewed within four different areas: expelling demons, curing diseases, dealing with nature, and overcoming death.
The Works of Jesus over Demons
Jesus rebuked the demon and told him to be silent (Mark 1.25). The two Greek words are very strong. Rebuke can be defined as to scold, denounce, censure in order to bring an action to an end. Be silent can be defined as to muzzle, strangle, or tie shut. Jesus lashed out at the demon, denounced him, and choked him off and set the man who was demonized free. It is not only Satan, the strong man of Mark 3.27, who alone is to be bound. It is his co-workers who would also be attacked, strangled, choked, and destroyed.
When Jesus delivered the young boy with a dumb spirit (Matt. 17.18; Mark 9.25; Luke 9.42) the same word rebuke is used. Driving out demons and smashing the ruling grip of Satan on the stolen world was proof and fulfillment that the Kingdom which Jesus had announced had arrived. The arrival of the Kingdom is simultaneous with, dependent on, and manifested in the throwing out of demons from people's lives in the present. The Kingdom will arrive in its fullness on a worldwide basis at the Second Coming of Jesus at which time this activity will cease.
Until that future moment, the battles go on, even though the decisive battle has been won by Jesus on the cross. The call of the army of God is to rout out Satan and his demonic friends.
Doin' the Stuff!
BibleHandbook: Resource Stuff
Read the following Dictionary Articles from Easton's Bible Dictionary. Easton's is about a century old, therefore, some of the information is not current with newer Bible Dictionaries. You might read the articles off-line in a number of different Bible Dictionaries. If you do not own a Bible Dictionary, I would recommend New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition. If you like lots of color pictures, try Revell Bible Dictionary. One of these should suit your personal needs.