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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1004. The demons recognise and submit to  Jesus (5/3/24)

This week in our devotions in Luke we reflect upon Jesus’ power over creation (verses 22-39); His power over dark forces (verses 26-39); finally, we see His power over sickness and death (40-56). May we be inspired to see the glory of Christ so as to deepen our faith and step out in faith. Today, we see Jesus' power over demons. 


Lesson: Demons know who Jesus is and submit to His greater power and so we are to pray against evil and be free from the fear of evil. 


You can listen to this devotional below (It’s also available on Spotify on the Community Church Putney podcast) 


‘They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.’ (Luke 8:26-27)

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, ‘the calm after the storm’, however, sometimes, by God’s will, we experience the storm after the storm. When we feel that we’ve had enough, Jesus knows if we can take, and need, more painful teaching. After passing through a literal storm, the disciples enter upon a spiritual storm. If the storm was a lesson in faith in Jesus over hardships brought about by nature, they are now entering upon a lesson regarding how to deal with the assaults and storms of dark powers. Luke continues:


‘When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man.’ (Luke 8:28-29a)


They meet this man who is controlled by demons, living in shame and isolation. As we see on many occasions, the demons recognise and manifest (reveal) themselves when the presence of Jesus is present. The demons recognise and reveal who Jesus is as they declare, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” The account continues:


‘Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.’ ‘Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.  And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.’ (Luke 8:29b-31)

We see that serious demonic oppression can control speech, give supernatural strength and Isolate a person from society. We are told that they, ‘begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.’ This being the place of punishment (Revelation 9:1); whilst we may have unanswerable questions around the meaning of all this, we know that it reveals Jesus’ concern for the oppressed, His power to release from dark oppression, and His ability to overcome and punish demons. 

We will all have storms and affliction caused by dark forces, and often it’s hard to know the source of the things that we are suffering. However, some markers of the work of the evil that we find in this narrative are: 

Isolating behaviours. As this man was driven into solitary places, demonic oppression and temptations will often seek to isolate us from church and a healthy relationship with society. 

Supernatural strength and anger. People who are afflicted or tempted by demonic powers, will have bursts of anger to a greater or lesser degree. Some even have power beyond the natural.  

The manifestation of the demonic at the presence of Jesus. In a church setting or when we are counselling or praying with someone, demons can manifest themselves in the presence of Jesus.


Response

Demons know who Jesus is and submit to His greater power and so we are to pray against evil and be free from the fear of evil. If we are concerned for ourselves in regard to the oppressive work of the demonic in our lives, don’t be fearful, but talk to a trusted church pastor to receive council and prayer. If you are concerned for someone else, if appropriate, ask if you can pray for them and I encourage you to do this with someone else. This is not a simple subject, but if we are loving, seek wisdom, involve others, and bring them to Jesus, He can set people free. 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY - SIV WEEK

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals which is accessed in Church News or the 'Teaching' button on the website. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word, or maybe from our week of prayer, this week and how has this helped you? (Again, as with last week, this parable of the lamp on a stand, that we are looking at today, is very much linked with knowing and doing God’s Word).


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Previously, in chapter 8, Luke used The Parable of the Soils, The Parable of the Lamp on a Stand, and His teaching about His family, to teach us about how we are to love His Word and seek to put it into practice. Now, in Luke 8:22-56, he gives us 3 accounts that are applications of this.

Firstly, we see Jesus’ power over creation (verses 22-39); 

Secondly, His power over dark powers (verses 26-39); 

Finally, we see His power over sickness and death (40-56). 

In response, may we ask, 'Who then is this, that [these things] obey Him?' and move to a place of deeper faith and greater obedience. 


This week is SIV (Serve, Invest and inVite) week and so we will focus on how this text teaches us about how we are to seek to bring our community to Jesus. 


What is SIV? 

SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' and to ‘fish for people’.  We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them - demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes by showing hospitality and inviting them to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel. 


Please read Luke 8:22-56

  1. These incidents that reveal Jesus power over creation, demons, sickness and death are to fill us with awe and confidence. How should such a vision of God help us as we seek to witness to people? 

  2. After setting the man free from demonic possession, He is told, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” What are the various stories that we could tell in regard to what Jesus has done for us?

  3. We are told, ‘So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.’ How have you been serving, investing and inviting recently - what stories do you have to share? 

  4. Who, in your community, are you regularly praying for to come to Christ?

  5. Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the places and to the people that God has given to you? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable? 

  6. Are you planning to do anything together as a group?

  7. Our passage from Luke makes it clear that it’s Jesus will to reveal His glory to us and to others. Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, Invest and Invite.

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