Mark 7:25-26 “A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at Jesus’ feet. She was a Gentile…and kept asking Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter.”
Where did the demons go?
Demons and unclean spirits feature prominently in the ministry of Jesus. Everywhere He goes He confronts them and casts them out of people.
Such “power encounters” seem so less commonplace today. When did you last confront a demon and cast it out of someone? We have largely replaced the language of spiritual warfare with the language of psychology; psychosis, neurosis, and dysfunction. We prefer to describe people as mentally ill rather than demonically afflicted.
I understand the need to be cautious and sensitive. Not every rock has a demon hiding behind it, nor is every illness a Satanic attack. But the downplaying in our culture of the reality of the spiritual realm, has perhaps driven us to an opposite (and equally dangerous) extreme.
Indeed, as we read the Gospels, we are tempted to conclude that these ancient descriptions of the Satanic realm reflect an underdeveloped culture, antiquated superstition, or simple ignorance. We know better. We’re better educated. Our worldview is more sophisticated.
Was Jesus just playing along with the fears and oddities of that ancient time? Or did He actually encounter profoundly evil and dangerous spirit-beings over whom He exercised authority? And if they existed in full force then, where have they hidden today?
On this 18th day of Lent, perhaps we might pray for greater discernment in the spiritual realm. Nothing provides a greater cloak for the forces of darkness than our denial of their existence.
The Syrophoenician woman begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her little girl, and He did. Demons could not withstand His authority. Jesus’ mission focused on deliverance, and that has not changed. He continues to deliver those in bondage by asserting His authority through His people.
The Lenten season mimics the 40 days of testing that Jesus experienced in the wilderness; 40 days of Satan coming at Jesus, wave after wave. Perhaps this Lent, you’re experiencing something of the same, or suddenly aware of others embroiled in this serious battle for the soul. The apostle Paul stated it so accurately. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the powers, and the world forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). It was true then; it remains true today.