Joy to the World (Eleven Months Early)2
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.
A couple of days ago we described demon-possession as 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.
The good news that emerges throughout the stories of Jesus’s conflicts with demonic powers is that Jesus is the great re-humanizer. He has been given the power and the mandate to roll back spiritual death and darkness, to restore and heal people.
So he wades into broken situations and reverses them. He steps into darkness and overwhelms it with light.
This is Jesus’s Joy-to-the World, restoration, re-humanizing work. As the great joy hymn puts it, He has come to make God’s blessings known far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found.
That’s what Jesus is doing here in this story with this man and this demon. This is what Jesus is doing today, in your life, in your world. Jesus is at work today to roll back the curse, destroy the parasite of sin, and overwhelm it with life.
Where do you need Jesus to overwhelm your darkness with His light today? How might you receive this truth with great joy?