POWER OF DEMONS

This just in….

The real power of demons is the love you have for them.

Think about it.

 

 

 

 

The demon Jesus meets in Mark 5 is a thoroughly Roman demon commanding the allegiance of his subjects.  He is a pagan among the tombs, gashing himself, destroying himself, yet stronger than can be chained and subdued.  When this demon identifies himself, he uses the very Latin word for a very Latin idea – he is legion!

Legion is from the land of the Garasenes, which we might call the Little Italy of Judea.  The folx living there are pagans over ruling the locals and representing that empire that is conquering the whole known world for the glory of Rome.  The area of Asia particularly shows extreme devotion to this demon, but the Jews are tempted to also, and a fair number of their leaders in fact do collaborate.

This Roman demon collects tax and allegiance to his flags.  He is a ferocious demon!  But notice how at merely getting out of the boat, this demon comes running to bow down to Jesus!  This is exactly what Rome does on the stage of world history.  But first, this demon asks to be cast into the pigs, and the pigs rush back into the sea from which this demon came!

 

The power of Rome is the LOVE the world gives him.  He will defeat you, you cannot bind him with chains, but you will give your allegiance to him when after he wins the fight he then wins your hearts and minds.

 

We meet another “unclean spirit” in Mark 9 – a stubborn one that the disciples cannot cast out.  This one is very uniquely a Jewish demon.  This one resists the other demon, but that is not really the tip off.  Notice this demon is found inhabiting the son of a nameless father!  If this demon had a name, it would be bar Abbas – Barabbas (son of the Father).

Notice the Jewish history looming in the background of this demon, this helpless father trying to represent YHWH, God, and trying to do so with a son whose spirit throws him into the water and the fire to destroy him!  The disciples are unable to cast this one out.  They have not had such problems before now, but now they are helpless before the one they themselves suffer as the sons of the Father.

We know from Jesus in Mark at some points and especially from St. Paul and St. Luke that being hung up on your fleshly Jewish background will be a stumbling block.  To be the child of God will not require this Jewish lineage in the usual sense, but on the faith even non-Jews have in Jesus alone.

 

This kind comes out only by prayer.  The more stubborn demon, the one you need to pray about is the one that has you tricked into believing your own flesh is your salvation.

 

This one infects YOU and ME.  This one is very personal to the people of God.  Just ask the Jews, the bar Abba people who would petition Pilate to release Barabbas and kill Jesus, even though Jesus is the real Son of God.

 

Actually, the Roman demon steels your heart and mind as you devote your allegiance to the flags of empire.  The Jewish demon claims your heart and mind and strength as your devotion throws you into the water or into the fire to destroy you.

 

It is no mistake that once Jesus casts out this unclean spirit, the boy lies as if dead before waking up.

 

The power these demons have IS the love you give them.

 

And that may well come as a shock to some of us.

 

4 comments

  1. laceduplutheran · May 24, 2020

    Amen! Amen! Amen! I just wanted Clash of the Titans. It’s Greek mythology. And the thing that stuck out to me was that the gods only have power when people worship them – otherwise, they loose power. Sounds the same doesn’t it. When I look at Scripture I see the same thing happen with the devil. The devil works the same way – the devil only gets power through permission. The devil has to ask for permission to taunt Job. The devil tempts Jesus through questions in order to get permission. The power evil has is the love we give them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · May 24, 2020

      That’s a great comment.

      I see what you mean.

      I often think of CS Lewis’s little book The Great Divorce. I don’t currently have a copy, or I would look up the quotes. But I know he gave the thought that those in hell are there because they choose it. That people in hell seek out a bit of heaven to take back into hell with them in effort to make hell into their own version of heaven.

      I wonder sometimes if that isn’t what I have done.

      I keep thinking if the church were to LOVE like Jesus, then we could hit the streets with such a tremendous impact. When I go to the church, I don’t find what I was looking for there. I find resistance instead. And I keep trying.

      Maybe I need to just get a 401k, earn my living and retirement, take my vacations, do church projects locally and abroad, take the ski trip, and drive a Lexus to all of these things, and when I worry about the bums on the street, I can always give to the special projects, the 501c3’s – if I give enough, I can even get my name on the special donors list! I can get a nice latte at the coffee bar, and rest assured the bums are cared for JUST LIKE Jesus.

      But I just keep thinking I need to get the church to go down there and actually LOVE the poor. And it just doesn’t work. It just frustrates me and everyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agent X · May 24, 2020

        Matt,

        Sorry man… I am a bit groggy and taxed with multitasking. I think I rambled a bit off in the toolies there.

        Please keep in touch.

        Talk again soo.

        Like

      • laceduplutheran · May 24, 2020

        But it’s no difference to what Jesus encountered.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s