Demons Defeated

Right after His baptism, Jesus had been driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, where Satan tempted Him (4:1-11). Having overcome the devil’s clever wiles, Jesus returned to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit” and began His ministry of preaching, teaching, healing, and deliverance from evil spirits (Matthew 4:23-25). Matthew now relates how Jesus not only cured Peter’s mother-in-law but also cast out demons from those who were brought to Him for deliverance. The King has come! The kingdom of God is at hand! Satan, in whose power the world had lain in darkness for millennia, has not been able to deflect the Son of God from His mission. The light of truth dispels darkness. The love of God brings healing to the sick. And the powerful word of Christ expels demons from tormented souls. No wonder the crowds flocked to Him! Is it strange that they sought out this Man, who not only “taught as one having authority” (7:29), but exercised that same authority over evil spirits? That same authority empowers even the simplest believer today not only to resist the wiles of Satan (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9), but to bring freedom to those who are held captive by him and his wicked minions (Mark 16:17). Though deprived of his former power to accuse and to deceive (Luke 10:18; John 12:31; Revelation 12:10; 20:3), Satan still “prowls around, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His evil servants, likewise, can still cause great trouble, inflicting illness and leading astray through idolatry and false teaching (Luke 8:36; 13:16; 1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 Timothy 4:1). What a great comfort to know that those who are in Christ have the Spirit of God within them, and can call upon the authority of their Lord and Savior to resist the devil and to cast out demons with a word of command!