“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” Mark 1.32-34
It’s October and that mean’s Halloween. As I child I loved Halloween. My mom and I would dream up costumes for me to wear and she would find the fabric and sow it all together. Gone are those days, but I still have great memories of a variety of costumes we would create together.
When I read this passage I think of Halloween. It’s night time (‘that evening after sunset…”) and there are evil spirits in the house (“people brought to Jesus sick and DEMON-POSSESSED!) It kind of sounds like the beginning of a scary movie! Except that Jesus is also in the house — the God of Light, the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd.
The scene takes place in Israel (God bless them as they are currently under siege from enemies in Gaza). It is the evening, in a Jewish home which is very crowded with the warm glow of oil burning lamps around the room. And Jesus is doing his thing. He’s at work, healing people and casting out demons. Some of the sickness was because of demon possession. The text tells us that “Jesus healed many who had various diseases,” and he also “drove our many demons.” However, he would not “let them demons speak because they knew who he was.”
Jesus was not afraid of the demons like we might be. According to one website (https://www.gotquestions.org/types-of-demons.html) these demons were “angels” (the devils messengers) that followed Satan during the fall (Rev 12.9). And these demons (or evil spirits) can cause physical illness. Regardless of their form, we know their function — they are enemies of God. But Jesus has complete authority over them as do we. At the name of JESUS every evil spirit will flee. Jesus prohibited them from speaking in the room because they knew his real ID and he did not want them tell people who he was before he was ready.
But this isn’t a reflection about God’s enemies but about God’s power and the work he can accomplish through people when we believe. Jesus tells us in the Gospels that his disciples will do even greater things than when see him doing. Let’s take authority. Let’s pray and believe. Let’s allow the Lord to do a mighty work in us and through us by his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, I love you. I praise you. Come now Holy Spirit and fill me up. Protect me from your enemies. Send the blood of Jesus over me to bless me, protect me and guide me. Allow me to be the person you have called me to be. In my work for you, multiple these efforts so you might receive all praise and honor. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen