Week 1 | Monday
Week 1: Who Is Jesus?
Jesus and a Man with an Evil Spirit
by Janet Nygren
The passage is pretty short, so feel free to read it over a few times to let it sink in.
Read: Luke 4:31-37
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit.
He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
- What are you amazed about in the story?
- What does this incident reveal about Jesus’ character?
- What does it reveal about his abilities?
- How does your story connect to this story? Is there someone in the story you can relate to?
- There may not be many in our experience who can relate to demon possession, but perhaps there was a time when you felt you had no control over what was happening to you and Jesus intervened?
- Perhaps you are more like the bystanders who witnessed Jesus in action for the first time and were amazed at his power or authority?
- Take a few moments to allow a story in your own life to come to mind and connect to Jesus’ story in your own unique way.
- Take a moment to talk to Jesus. Have a conversation with him about what you noticed about him and about yourself. Sharing stories is a way to go deeper, not just with other people, but with Jesus as well.
- Sharing bits of our own stories helps us to know and connect better to one another. We would love for you to share the story that came to your mind through this forum below.
- Or you might want to share it with someone else this week, just as the original audience did: “And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.” (v.37)
I am thinking about a few things as I read this story. I admit that I am uncomfortable with exorcism. I have seen it. I believe it still happens. I believe it is an important ministry. When I was saved, I went home to my small country Church and spoke to my pastor, Sturgis Poorman. I asked him why he had never spoken about the need to be born again-the need to receive Jesus into your heart. In the course of our discussion, Sturgis Poorman had an experience with the Lord. His walk with the Lord deepened and he heard God’s call to go to Africa. God led him to Zimbabwe where he pastored a Presbyterian Church in Harare. He worked along side a black pastor. He worked side by side with Elder John Joya. They led many to the Lord. As these people were baptized, it was not uncommon for demons to come out. It happened naturally without great struggle. I became open to this ministry through his story. I pray that we can move in the authority Jesus exhibited today. The people of Capernaum were amazed at His authority. That authority comes naturally in the flow of the Holy Spirit-no fanfare, just a desire to see a person set free.
When I come to pick up Jodie from her group home in Watervliet, it is an awkward experience and different from the house she had lived in previously in Altamont. There are a few older men, Mark, Harry, Robbie, and Peter who are severely autistic or developmentally delayed. They are there physically but there is no connection. They may as well be miles away. I pray now to Jesus that as they see me there with Jodie that my presence may open up some connection with them; however small it may be.
David, that is a beautiful perspective, thank you for sharing.
The passage doesn't tell us what happened to the man who was possessed after he was rescued, but it's hard to imagine that he did not become a life-long follower of Jesus. If you ask someone how they first met Jesus, many, like me who grew up in a Christian home, will tell you it happened gradually, over time, the accumulation of many small miracles and encounters with Jesus. But I have met others who were rescued from some kind of addiction, or spirit of anger, or spirit of hopelessness, or spirit of selfishness and ambition -- something that was imprisoning them and twisting their lives. Perhaps these are the "demons" of our day, but we use different language to describe those encounters with Jesus. Certainly there is plenty of evidence of Jesus' power and authority to intervene dramatically in someone's life and rescue them.
In 2018 something happened in my life that totally recked my trust in an extremely close family member. I spent 2 years in a cave that I couldn't find my way out. I prayed daily and my dear friend Susan Blais prayed continuously for this relationahip to be reconciled. I was close to being suicidal or running away. On top not that I was hurt deeply by my former church so I was deep into this cave that wanted to take my life. In October 2020 a miracle happened. While I was reading God's holy Word, praying and crying out to God, it all disappeared. The anguish, the hurt, the unforgiveness, the mistrust, the suicidal thoughts. It was like someone (my Jesus) took the veil off. Like a shade that was pushed up back in place. It's hard to explain the healing that took place in words. It was like this demon possessed man. One moment he was that way and the next he was a new man. I now have more love for this person than I've ever had before. AND I'm so very thankful and blessed that Jesus showed Himself to me.
Wow, Linda. Thanks for sharing. I am amazed when I see such clear answers to prayer. That brings to mind a somewhat similar incident in my mind. I had a falling out with a really close friend. They were leaving the church, and I just couldn't accept it. I was very convinced that I was right, but also really upset about losing her friendship and partnership in the church. I just couldn't let it go. Then there was an event we were both invited to and I had to make a decision. The only thing that was keeping me from going was this broken relationship, and I knew that wasn't right. I was in tears, praying, and then suddenly I had this peace that came out of nowhere. It was so clear to me that the Holy Spirit took away what I couldn't do myself. I went to the event and was able to look her in the eye again, accept her decision, even though I didn't agree with it. It has stuck out to me in my mind ever since as an amazing work of the Holy Spirit that goes beyond my own power.
When I was about 12 years old, I was babysitting my younger siblings and a man wandered in to our house from the woods, asking for someone we didn't know. He was drunk and bleeding from the head, and we were terrified.
I made him coffee, shut the kids in the bedroom, grabbed the phone and locked myself in the bathroom, then called my friend. Her dad and boyfriend drove from her house about a mile down the road so fast, I could hear the car from inside the house. They picked this man up by the front of his shirt and he started crying, so they took him out on the porch and talked to him.
Later on I found that they hadn't taken him to the police, but had given him a ride home. He had been really upset by a divorce and had gotten drunk, wandered down to the canal, and hit his head on the rocks along the shore.
I had wanted this man punished, arrested for scaring a bunch of kids, but my friend's dad acted like Jesus. He helped the stranger with his demons, and left him better than he found him.
A few demons were cast out of me in the last couple of years. I had some struggles, but my walk was getting deep and I was fasting a lot. It became evident I was demonized. I had awful intrusive thoughts, voices talking to me, and overwhelming feelings to do things. I got some deliverance through prayer,fasting, and my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I went to an event and the rest were cast out in Jesus Name. I’ve been a believer since I was 7, strong.
Since my deliverance my heart is for helping people find salvation through Yeshua , Jesus Christ , be healed, delivered, and set free. Whether inner healing is needed, prayer for baptism in the Holy Spirit, straight up healing, or someone needs deliverance. I know the bondage and the helplessness. I don’t want that for anyone, my heart breaks for those in bondage. Praise God for sending Jesus, and giving Him the name , which is above every name! In Jesus Name we can help set others free. Thank you Jesus!!