1 Corinthians 2: 10-16
Luke 4: 31-37
"…Be quiet! Come out of him! Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm."
From the time we were small and first able to speak, we recognized that words have great power. In the gospel yesterday, Jesus says that the Spirit anointed him to let the oppressed go free. Today, we see what that means.
Jesus moves on to Capernaum and there he teaches people in the synagogue on the Sabbath. His teaching made a deep impression on the people because he "spoke with authority". He did not quote other authorities, like the teachers of the law, because his authority was directly from God. It was his own. Jesus’ authority is not only in word and teaching. There in the synagogue, as he speaks, is a man possessed by an "unclean spirit". The powerful word of Jesus, spoken with divine authority, drives out the unclean spirit.
Jesus met people who were demon-possessed; Jesus threw the demons out. Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday. He still throws out demons–the demons of addictions, self-destructive behaviors, powerful temptations, and other "unclean spirits" when he is called upon.
We all encounter "demons" that can challenge us and sometimes compromise our relationships with those around us, as well as with the Lord. We need not fight these destructive powers on our own, however. We need only to recognize the Lord’s authority in our lives, surrender to his will and let his powerful words of grace and healing drive out our "unclean spirits".
Deacon Brian Clements is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California