December 2, 2020
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons" (Matthew 12:22-24)
Demon possession has been a hot topic since the 1st Christian century. Some believe demoniacs were/are people experiencing a serious mental, physical, or emotional disorder. Others argue demoniacs were/are literally under the influence or power of evil spirits (demons) who had/have complete possession of a person’s faculties and who produced symptoms or disorders not unlike melancholia, madness, epilepsy, deafness, muteness, etc.
Jesus and the Apostles spoke to and of demoniacs as such. They dealt with them as possessed people, leaving us to understand that such possession was real. Demoniacs conversed, asked and answered questions, and expressed their knowledge and fear of Jesus Christ - things that could not be said of diseases or disorders (Matthew 8:28; Luke 8:27). The early church fathers understood these things. probably from the apostles themselves, and their opinions are a fair interpretation of the apostles’ witness.
If Jesus didn’t believed in demon possession, how can we give credence to any clearly-expressed belief of His? There is no subject on which Jesus expressed Himself more clearly, acted more decisively, or which He left more clearly etched in the minds of His disciples. It is absurd to believe those persons were under the influence of anything but demons. If people can influence others to do horrific things, even destroying their own lives, why is it so difficult to believe demons can do the same? There a plethora of cases no man can explain other than the presence of evil spirits. Who can deny that some evil being had nothing to do with men like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Isis, etc.?
Jesus came to destroy the power of Satan and his demonic host. He did that on the cross (Acts 26:18; Romans 16:20-21). But Satan is still a powerful adversary against the Christian. He cannot destroy them, but he can defeat them. That’s why we are encouraged to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, to clothe ourselves in His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18), to submit to the Lord and resist the devil (James 4:7), and to believe, greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
“Lord Jesus, I cannot express to You the joy I have knowing that You have defeated my greatest enemy and the greatest enemy of mankind. It is humbling to know that trusting whole-heartedly in You insures that the devil and his demons cannot influence, manipulate, or defeat the work You are doing in and through me. May you be honored by the ministry we continue to do in Your name, Amen.”