29 And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. 31 And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. 32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” 38 He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” 39 And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.
As soon as people started finding out Jesus had something special going on, they brought to Him their afflicted. Here is a challenging question for us today: do people come to us with their problems because they have heard there is healing in our presence? Think about that for a moment. This isn’t to encourage a superiority complex or to say that we should be walking around telling people that we can hela people or cast out demons. The fac tis we can’t do it, God can through us, however. The people around us should see that something is different because something is different. Yet, we aren’t different at all. We don’t act differently than the rest of the world; we just blend into the scene with the label of “Christian”.
In the middle of this passage we see that Jesus did not permit the demons to speak because they knew who He was. Personally, I’m developing my own theories as I continue to study the bible as to why He did this, but it is interesting to note that not only was He casting out demons, He was also shutting them up. Jesus’ reasons for not wanting the demons to proclaim who He was could be because He didn’t want to be praised. Maybe He didn’t want the people to focus on Him so much as the arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth. His evangelistic message was “repent and believe because the Kingdom of God is here.” Jesus constantly gives glory to God the Father and does not take it for Himself, even though He fully had the right to. We must also learn from this example.
It is unfortunate that we have let our society dictate the reality of demonic influence and the possibility of being healed from it. Just because you don’t believe something exists doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our spiritual enemy reigns in our hearts by making us unaware and convincing us that our spiritual battle doesn’t exist. There is no war for our souls, just keep doing whatever satisfies you here and now, and don’t worry about eternity because it is just a farce. As the main character in “The Usual Suspects” says, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.” The exposure of the Kingdom of God in our lives will reveal to the blinded that this is real, it is important, and they need to realize the gravity of the situation.
Jesus says here that His purpose on earth was to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He went to preach and teach others about the reality of God’s Kingdom and to let them know that it has arrived on earth. This is great news! He set the standard for us and this is what we have been saved to do. Just as Jesus stayed connected with God and revealed the Kingdom to mankind, we are to do the same. How are you revealing God’s Kingdom to others today? Is God’s presence evident through you as you interact with others? Are you bringing others the healing power of God’s Holy Spirit? We often look at 1 Corinthians 6 as a passage about taking care of our bodies, but it is so much more than that!
[quote]12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.[/quote]
If our body houses the Spirit of God, then we get to take this Spirit to others whenever we interact with them! In Jesus’ days, everyone went to the synagogues to learn about God and be in His presence. Now they don’t have to because He resides in us! We no longer have to convince others to come to church or drag them along to hear our pastor preach what we think are the perfect sermons. The perfect sermon is that which comes from the Holy Spirit, not the one you think someone else is going to preach and save your loved ones.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have become blind and lazy. We have ignored our spiritual battle for too long. We have ignored our God given calling to reveal His kingdom to others. We have taken the easy way out and the world around us is suffering because of it. We talk about having compassion on others who are suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but then we tell them they should go to a hospital (ie a church) and they die on the way because you didn’t utilize the doctor living inside you! Maybe you are only at the point of being able to give immediate first aid. Maybe the best you can do is plug up the wound until more help arrives. Maybe you only know CPR, but it is what is necessary to keep them alive to receive prolonged healing. Stop being a part of the problem and be a part of the solution. You have it in you, you just have to use it!