What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?

One Sabbath, while Jesus was teaching in the Synagogue, a man possessed by an unclean spirit cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him” (Mark 1:24-25)! During many of His encounters with demons Jesus commanded the demons to keep silent. A quick survey of the few accounts in Scripture where Jesus allowed the demons to speak, reveals that the demons always asked Jesus what He had to do with them. In other words, “We know who you are. Why have you come here?”  The second thing they asked is, “Have you come to torment or destroy us?” On one occasion they asked, “Have you come here to torment us before the time” (Matt. 8:29). They even asked Jesus to send them away into a group of pigs (Matt. 8:31). We learn from these encounters that not only did the demons recognize Jesus, they understood His power and authority over them. They referred to Jesus as the Son of God, or the Holy One of God. The demons acknowledged a coming time of of torment. This reminds me of what James had to say about demons, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder” (James 2:19). The people in the Synagogue that day had already been astonished by the authority with which Jesus taught Scripture. “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). Can you imagine their expressions as they witnessed the authority of Jesus over the unseen spiritual realm? Believers must recognize and respond to the authority of Jesus if they are to experience a walk of faithful obedience. Moments before Jesus gave what we know as the Great Commission, He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:17). This divine authority is the highest, most powerful and perfect authority that exists. On other occasion Jesus spoke in regard to His life, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:18). Unlike the disappointment we often experience in regard to earthly authorities who sometimes fail because of their fallen natures, we can experience the loving, compassionate, merciful and perfect authority of Christ.  Are you submitting your will to His perfect will?

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