Summary: Jesus casts demons out of our lives.
“Satan’s Worst Nightmare Has Come True!”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer,
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
The Bible teaches us that Satan was the most exalted angel in all of heaven…
…that God had created him to rule as the highest of all created beings.
But Satan did the same thing that all of us have done—he sinned and fell.
He rebelled against God.
Therefore, just as Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden,
Satan was cast from his exalted position, and thrown to earth…
…but Satan didn’t come alone.
The Bible teaches us that one-third of the angels in heaven were led astray by Satan…these fallen angels are called demons.
And the evil spirit mentioned in our Gospel Lesson for today simply means a demon.
Angels were created to worship and praise God, to serve Him, and to act as His messengers.
The Bible tells us that angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.”
And demons have a similar function, but a different master.
Their allegiance is to the devil…
…and they serve him out of fear and delusion.
Like angels, demons have a strong desire to work with human beings, but their purpose is to carry out the schemes of Satan and to oppose God.
Just as God loves humankind more than we can imagine…for He created us in His image…
…Satan detests humankind more than we can imagine…for we are created in God’s image.
Satan uses his demons to tempt, deceive, and delude people so that we will not hear and accept the message of the Gospel and be saved.
The Bible tells us in 1st Peter: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan gained quite a foothold on God’s creation when he tempted Adam and Eve…and they gave in…Oh, how he must have laughed!
For Satan, the battle had been won.
But God promised---immediately after the Fall of humankind that He would provide a means by which people could be restored to a right relationship with Him.
And the entire Bible is focused on this means.
So, we find ourselves this morning, looking at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
“The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as teachers of the law.”
Jesus did not quote human authorities, as the teachers of the Law did, because Jesus’ authority came directly from God.
It was not derived from tradition.
Jesus did not live in the prison house of quotation marks.
Jesus spoke from personal experience…
…His Words of truth were grounded in the universe which was created through Him.
The teachings of Jesus were so new, so filled with power, that everyone listening was shocked with amazement!
Are we sufficiently amazed at Jesus’ teachings?
While Jesus was teaching, and the listeners were being amazed… “a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
It is important to note that it was actually the demon who cried out—not the man.
The Bible teaches us that even the demons believe and are afraid.
Their worst nightmare has come true!!!
God became flesh and made His dwelling among us…and here He stood…teaching with authority.
God invaded Satan’s turf, it was time for the real war to begin!!!
The cry of terror from the demon is laden with the language of defense and resistance.
The demon doesn’t confess the dignity of Jesus, but uses words of opposition in an attempt to disarm Him…
…basically what the demon says is: “You have no business with us!”
And this is the same thing that the demons are still angrily shouting today…
…It is the cry of greed…
… “You have no business with us!…
…mind your own business…
…Go back to Palestine!…
…Go back to the Bible!…
…Go back to the church!…
…Go back anywhere, just as long as you don’t interfere with our business!”
It is the language of discrimination.
It is the language of rage.
It is the language of jealousy.
It is the language of lust and selfishness.
It is the language of entrenched power everywhere,
Of oppressive governments,
Of shifty diplomacy.
It is the language of unrestrained individualism—
“I will live my own life according to my own rules—You have no business with us Jesus of Nazareth…Holy One of God!”
The demons know who Jesus is, and they cry out in defiance with despair: “What do you want with us?…
…Have you come to destroy us?”
… “Yeah we know who you are…get away from us Holy One of God!”