A Little Something About Demons2
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit.
Demon possession comes up fairly regularly throughout the biographies of Jesus, a topic most of us aren’t all that familiar with. A couple of quick-hit thoughts to help us to read these types of passages well.
There is a real personal spiritual force that is set against God and against God’s purposes—typically understood as rebellious or fallen angels, led by one who is called the Satan or the adversary or accuser or deceiver.
Those forces exist to spread darkness and death as a parasite that corrupts God’s good creation and are still at work today. Addictions are the most obvious example in our culture as they seem to have a very strong spiritual aspect to them. Programs that include spiritual components have a higher success rate than programs that don’t.
That doesn’t mean addictions are only or even primarily spiritual. Only that alongside any physiological or psychological elements, there is also a spiritual layer.
The biographies of Jesus contain the most number of stories about demon possession—this is the spiritual overthrow of a human being that typically drives them to extreme and destructive behavior.
The number of those stories drop dramatically in the Scriptures after Jesus’s death and resurrection. One theory is that if Jesus is the incarnation of God put on flesh, demon possession is a “poor-man’s incarnation.”
Fundamentally, demon possession is spiritual darkness hijacking a person made in God’s image. It is a dehumanizing element, a cancer. It is the forces of darkness overwhelming a person and unraveling and corrupting a person whom God created and whom God loves.
Spend a few minutes thinking about the different ways that you see or have experienced darkness hijacking people made in God’s image. Try to see it from God’s perspective: beings He created in love being spoiled by forces of evil. What emotions do you think that might elicit? What did that sight drive God to do?