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Jesus came to deliver us from evil

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Robert Morris

LIFE Outreach International

"But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Luke 11:20)

In Jesus’ day, some religious people had set parameters around God’s personality and abilities. They didn’t like the way Jesus challenged their orthodoxy, so they took every opportunity to portray His teachings and miracles as heresy. Consider this account from Luke: "One day Jesus cast a demon out of a man who couldn’t speak, and the man’s voice returned to him. The crowd was amazed, but some said, ‘No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets His power from Satan, the prince of demons!’ (Luke 11:14-15)

Does their argument that Satan would cast himself out make sense? Isn’t that self-defeating? Some people will look for any excuse to discredit Jesus and assert that He did not perform miracles by the power of God. The next verse says, "Trying to test Jesus, others asked for a miraculous sign from heaven to see if He was from God." (Luke 11:16)

Amazing! A sign from heaven had just been witnessed by all present. What more did they need? The sign from heaven was that the man who could not speak suddenly spoke when Jesus cast the demon out of him!

Without Jesus, people were destined to suffer a life tainted with the torment and possession of evil spirits. In performing the miracle, whether people accepted it or not, Jesus had driven out darkness and the kingdom of God had come into their presence. Jesus used a parable to explain: "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters." (Luke 11:21-23)

This parable is often misinterpreted—identifying you and me as the strong man, guarding against the devil’s assault. The message of Jesus was more powerful than that. No man is strong enough to withstand the devil alone, so we cannot be the strong man in this parable.

Jesus was referring to the mute man he had just delivered. Satan had the man in bondage for years. Clearly, he is the strong man, guarding his palace and fully armed. Satan thought he was secure, but Jesus, the Stronger One, overcame the evil spirit!

This parable is a prophecy about the future of our enemy who believes himself safe and strong, but in reality, Jesus will take everything he has. To those doubters in the crowd, Jesus was saying, "Right in front of your eyes stands the One who is more powerful than the enemy who has held you in bondage your whole life. I am stronger than the devil and I can set you free!"

It is my passion to hold up the real Jesus for all to see. I don’t want anyone to settle for less than the Jesus portrayed in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I have seen the devastating effects of those who believe that Jesus can get them to heaven, but reject the other life-empowering reasons He came.

He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) As long as you fear and honor God, you don’t have to fear the devil. The Lord is your protector and deliverer. It doesn’t matter if your family doubts. It doesn’t matter if people at your church are suspicious of asking Jesus to do supernatural things. This is your chance to embrace the real Jesus and tap into all the power He came to spend on your behalf.

This Week

How do you view Jesus? Does He save and anoint with His spirit? Does He heal our bodies? Does He set people free from the grip of darkness? Examine your perception of Jesus and compare it to His words and actions in the Bible so that you know Him for who He truly is.

Prayer

"Jesus, I believe that Your authority has defeated Satan and the darkness of his evil kingdom. You have set me free from bondage and Your Holy Spirit will empower me to stand against the evil one."


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