…But Who Are You?

Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 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!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

Luke 4:33-36 NKJV
I Am Who He Says I Am

Jesus confronted the personal power of evil in the form of demonic entities on many occasions.  In this episode, it was in the synagogue at Capernaum. I am struck by the fact that it was the demons who cried out in a loud voice, not Jesus.  In fact, Jesus is only described as crying in a loud voice on two occasions.  The first was at the resurrection of Lazarus: “He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43) The second was on the cross where He cried out twice with a loud voice: “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Matthew 27:46), and a short while later, “Father, ‘INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ ” (Luke 23:46) Demons, by contrast, required only a simple spoken command.

In my journey with our Pente-Chari-Faith crowd, it seems to me we often get it backward.  We tend to pray loud and long, hoping, I suppose, that God hears us better for our effort. I’m sure God is unimpressed.  When confronted with the demonic, we tend to get louder and louder as we repeat the command to “come out in Jesus Name.”  Jesus didn’t find it necessary to up the volume.  He knew that His words carried authority and power. Jesus knew exactly who He was.  He had heard the Father say, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Here’s the point.  When I have the internal confidence that I am exactly who the Bible says I am, I don’t have to yell at devils or pray around the world to bless the food.  God hears my prayer because I have the same access to Him that Jesus had.  Demons flee at my command because I am speaking to them as the anointed representative of the Second Person of the Godhead, doing Kingdom business in His Name. I am reminded of the story in Acts 19 of the seven sons of Sceva.  When they attempted to cast out a devil, the demon asked a piercing question: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Having no answer, they were humiliated.

Whatever else you do as a Christian, take the time in study, meditation, and prayer to find out what your new identity in Christ encompasses. Find out what the Father has said about you.  You are His beloved son, as surely as Jesus was. The world is in desperate need of a Church that has the assurance of knowing what is theirs in Christ, and the humility to acknowledge where it came from.  When evil asks, “…but who are you?” you will know what to say.

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