Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence. – Leonardo da Vinci
In the presence of Jesus, demons become wimps instantly. How? By power and authority – two expressions of His greater strength.
When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. - (Mark 1:21-22, emphasis mine)
It was customary for rabbis to read a scroll and then share what other, more famous rabbis thought about the passage. In contrast, Jesus interpreted the passage Himself. As the Word of God, He taught God’s Word with authority. It must have been mesmerizing.
Those listening recognized they were in the presence of someone great as they heard Jesus teach. And they weren’t the only ones.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon ... He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! 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!” - (Luke 4:33-44, emphasis mine)
It’s only one word in the Greek, ea. Imagine a loud, earpiercing, evil shriek, and you’ve just translated ea correctly.
One minute a demon is destroying a man from the inside out. Then Jesus shows up and the demon shrieks in terror, “Ea!” What changed?
Jesus showed up.
In the presence of Jesus, demons become wimps instantly. Why? Because evil knows the ultimate authority of Christ limits its reign. A day of total destruction is coming and the demons won’t survive. With that in mind, I’d screech too.
I love how Jesus responds to the demon. He answers none of his questions and affirms none of his fears. Jesus simply says, “Be quiet! Come out!”
The demon doesn’t charge Jesus to the death. There is no endless battle. When face to face with the authority of Jesus, the demon obeys.
Jesus, like those listening in the synagogue, I am also amazed by Your authority. Perhaps I’m even more amazed that Your authoritative Spirit lives in me. Speak through me in the presence of evil, giving me bold words in moments where I’d likely shriek if left on my own. Amen.
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