Just then there was in the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he 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 1:23-25).
Jesus fed, led, healed, forgave, loved, and taught. Jesus also exorcized and cast out evil and demonic spirits.
What are the twisted spirits Jesus may need to cast out of us? Control? Anger? Arrogance? Fear? Anxiety? Shame? Worry? Rigidity? Meanness? Willfulness? What are the “spirits,” that is, what are the emotions, attitudes, prejudices, and addictions that separate us from God, from others, and from who God calls us to be at our best?
Jesus wants to cast out those spirits so that we can be led by and filled with God’s Spirit. He wants us to be free. He wants to rebuke any voice and renounce any power that hardens our hearts, closes our minds, sabotages our will, or derails our faith.
The question isn’t whether Jesus can exorcize. No, the question is whether we want Him to do so. Sometimes those “evil” spirits can be enticing. Sometimes they can seem like our friends. But let’s not be seduced. Those “spirits” are slanderers, liars, accusers, and bullies, and they will suck the life, faith, hope, and decency right out of us.
Jesus exorcized evil spirits long ago, and He can still do so today. I need his casting out power in my life; I imagine you know the same in yours. It’s encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you that Jesus can exorcise all evil spirits that can rob our freedom, joy, and delight.
It’s interesting that the “unclean spirit” knew who Jesus was and that He came to destroy all evil spirits. It’s life-saving for us when we know Jesus and when we trust that His rebuking voice can free us from our own.
- What are the “unclean spirits” that have influenced or even taken over your mind, heart, or life?
- Do you now need Jesus to cast out any “unclean spirits?” If so, what are they? How did those emotions, attitudes, or behaviors enter into you?
- How have your “unclean spirits” damaged your health, abilities, or relationships? Jesus is both an exorcist and a healer. Do you need Jesus’ power to heal or clean up any of the loss or damage those spirits have caused?