Spiritual Warfare Archives

February 9, 2011

Spirits in the Synagogue

Mark 1:21,23-26,32-34 (NKJV)
21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.
32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.

I included all the verses so that the whole story could be seen, but what caught my attention was v23 - the comment that a man with an unclean spirit was in the synagogue.

I wonder how many people are the congregation that I serve look clean on the outside, but are unclean on the inside. I'm not just talking about dealing with sin and overcoming the flesh. I'm talking about an oppression that requires the person to be delivered and the demon(s) to be cast out.

Thanks to the movies, it would seem like it would be easy to identify the people who are demon possessed (e.g. The Exorcist). When in fact, the entity of spiritual oppression wants to remain hidden. The minute it is identified, then it can be dealt with. I wonder if everyone in the synagogue knew about the problem in this person, or if they were completely caught off guard when Jesus took authority and set the man free from this oppression. I wonder how many people could be sitting in my congregation dealing with significant spiritual oppression and nobody knows. I would not be surprised to discover that people could be struggling (having unwittingly opened the doors of their life to this kind of influence) and no one would never know. What I hope is that as the truth is proclaimed and Jesus is glorified, the darkness would be exposed and people will be set free.

Lord, You came to set the captives free, for the unclean to be purified and whole. Don't let me be someone who averts his eyes from seeing, who avoids spiritual conflict. In the authority that has been given to me as a believer, help me to join you in delivering people into freedom.

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