Have you come to destroy us?

Published August 31, 2021, 12:02 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Jesus’ power over demons is essentially a function of his place in the hierarchy of powers. He is higher than the demons. The demon claims to know who Jesus is—that he is the Holy One of God. This is not a confession but an attempt to gain power over Jesus through knowledge of his name. In the world of magic widespread at the time, to know the identity of one’s opponent is to have power over him. The demon, however, fails to control Jesus and is ordered to submission. Ironically, the demon’s failed attempt to “know” Jesus reveals the great divide between him and his conqueror. Jesus is “holy,” in contrast with the demon who is “unclean.” The unclean one seeks to destroy the human person; the “Holy One of God” comes to heal and to save.

The power of Jesus shows that the dominion of God is now being established over the “dominion of Belial,” freeing human beings from the subjection of the devil. Films like The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose give a vivid picture of the struggle between the devil and human beings. The devil might be strong, but he can be driven out through the power of Jesus.

GOSPEL • LUKE 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “What have you to do 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 in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.