Summary: Examining what the Demons knew about Jesus - that he was the Son of God. Do we know this also?
Luke 4:31 - 37 – Do we know what the demons know?
Australians are commonly cynical about talk of Satan, demons and evil spirits. Yet in many parts of the world the spiritual dimension is a reality very much believed in and experienced. For example, in 2001 Simala National High School in the Philippines temporarily closed after evil spirits apparently possessed 11 of the students. The incident occurred during a baptism service. Witnesses reported that one of the students started hissing like a snake while other students were crying like cows and had super-human strength. Other students reportedly shook uncontrollably before passing out. Local bishops were called into counsel and pray with the students.
Demons are a reality in our world and although we often don’t recognize them in the circumstances in which they function, that doesn’t mean they are not there. Jesus had many dealings with evil spirits or demons while on this earth and in many of these encounters, we find out that the demons involved are very well informed about who they are dealing. This morning, I want to briefly look at one of these instances. The question I want to ask you is whether you know what the demons know. Turn in your bibles to Luke 4:31-37
Jesus had just left his home town where they tried to squeeze Him and His ministry into a box which just didn’t fit what God had for Him. He had burst out and upset a few people in the process and now Jesus makes his way down to Capernaum which was located down on the Sea of Galilee. Again as was his custom, he began to teach the people and again they were amazed at his teaching because it had authority. One thing you have to realize here is that Jesus’ teaching was very different to that of the rabbis and normal teachers of the law. It wasn’t normal for rabbis to think for them selves. A mark of a good sermon was whether it called on the traditions of those famous patriarchs, teachers and Leaders from the past. The authority of their words was the authority of those who came before, but with Jesus, here was something new. He didn’t say, listen, because this is what Elijah says, or Caiaphas the high Priest. No. He says – Listen, because this is what I say. He spoke with authority – his own authority and people were amazed.
That day as he spoke in the synagogue, there was a man who was possessed by a demon. Literally he had a spirit of an unclean demon. I think it is significant, that Luke records that early in his first public ministry, he is confronted by the Opposition. It is to be expected I guess. In vs 18 we read last week that Jesus came to proclaim good news to the spiritually poor and this signaled an all out attack on Satan. A spiritual battle had begun and so it should be no surprise that Jesus is confronted.
Another interesting thing to note here is that the demon possessed man was in the synagogue. Was he a regular attender? I don’t know, but I suspect he was. How many demon possessed people are in this church building now? I can see some of you looking around thinking – I always knew there was something strange about Mrs Greencheese over there. I’m serious though. Just because we are Christians or in church, doesn’t mean that Satan doesn’t have a grip on us. We need to be constantly ministering to each other in this regard as well as on the look out for those that would hinder the work of God in this church.