The War of Good Against Evil

Luke 4: 31-37
1Thes 5: 1-6,9-11 / Psa 27

What words these are! With authority and power He gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!
(Luke 4:36)

Don’t fear to face iniquity,
No evil spirits can withstand,
When we speak with authority
The Name ‘Jesus’ at our command.

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath He taught the people. They were astonished at His teaching, because His words had authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “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!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. All the people were amazed and said to one another, “What words these are! With authority and power He gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding region. (Luke 4:31-37)

Reflection

Having been rejected by the people in his own native place of Nazareth, Jesus transferred His residence to Capernaum, and according to Luke, the first miracle He performed there was healing a man who was possessed by an evil spirit. As Luke relates it, the demon was terrified when it realized that it was in the presence of the Divine Being. The reaction of the Lord towards the evil spirit was also one of contempt: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” And the demon immediately got the hell out of there! Here before them was a demonstration of spiritual warfare, and the power of good over evil.

Terrified though it was, the demon still screamed, “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” It was a desperate attempt to “expose” Jesus as the Son of God in order to subvert the divine plan. But Jesus used His power to silence the demon, and at the same time free the demonized man from the evil spirit’s power.

Although demon possession is now a rare occurrence in modern times, the war between the forces of good and evil are still raging, although in vastly different forms. The spirits of Satan are actively involved in corrupting our leaders both in government and business offices, and even some in the Church. They are responsible for the rise in crimes against morality (like rape) and against life (murder, abortion, etc.). The problems of drug abuse are their handiwork, and so are violent domestic conflicts at home, as well as teen-age pregnancies. The world is actually their playground, and so it may seem that the battle is stacked in their favor. For those who aspire to be soldiers of Christ, St. Paul gives this warning: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph.6:12) Don’t worry, evil spirits are no match against the power of God’s Word. We have no cause to fear them as long as we believe the messages that Jesus continues to teach us as what He taught His disciples in Galilee. Just as He promised before He ascended into heaven – “I am with you always until the end of time” (Mt.28:20) – He is present with us still, not only in the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Eucharist, but in the power of His words in Holy Scriptures.

We thank You Father God, for giving us the Bible, a rich source of spiritual weapons that has changed the lives of millions of saints for thousands of years. It has given spiritual healing, helped cast out evil spirits, and brought life to once moribund souls who have now become potent witnesses for Christ, sharing His Word of salvation to others. Through Your Word, may we serve You all the days of our lives. Amen.

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