In this series, Pastor Miles has uncovered the Biblical evidence that reveals who Jesus truly is. As a continuation of this study, today we discover what Jesus spiritual enemies have to say about Him.
Following any crime is an investigation and a pursuit of witnesses to testify as to a suspects character or actions, but theres nothing as powerful as an eyewitness testimony. Jesus eyewitnesses, the demons, know more about Him than any human can know, for they have been in heaven with God and have seen the magnitude of His works.
What do we know about demons? Demons are angels that were created to worship God before the foundation of the earth. Lucifer, whose name means light-bearer, was the highest angel, but wanting to be God himself, he was ejected from heaven and took one-third of the angels with him, who are now demons (see Revelation 12). Demons can possess people, even today. They can speak evil into peoples minds, cause suicidal thoughts, and spark illnesses. They are much more powerful than people (as is physically seen when a person is possessed by an evil spirit). Demons have taken a permanent stance to oppose and discredit God, and their mission is to destroy life by causing people to oppose God and live for themselves. Because humans bear the image of God and have potential of the glory of God, demons hate us, desiring us to self-destruct.
In this passage from Luke 8, Jesus and His disciples sail to the Gadarenes, where they are met by a man long-possessed by demons. Having broken his chains of confinement, he is living alone among the dead in tombs.
1. The demons consider Jesus worthy of their worship and so should we. Luke 8:28
What do the demons do when they see Jesus? They dont confront him, fight him, or deny his divine nature. They know exactly who He is and are compelled to [fall] down before him in worship (v. 28). Although the very nature of demons is to lie, in this case, they have no incentive to do so. They are afraid and compelled to respond to Jesus with the worship He merits.
Worship is response of respect when the truth is revealed. When you see a beautiful sunset that makes you stop and just enjoy it in wonder, thats worship. You are honoring the Creator by admiring what He has made.
You may not worship spontaneously and humbly as these demons do, but that is simply because you dont know Jesus the way the demons do. God is so much bigger than a church service, a sermon, or the music we sing. He is the Creator of the Universe! Having witnessed that creation, these demons know exactly the respect and reverence Jesus requires.
2. The demons acknowledge Jesus as God. Luke 8:28
Even before Jesus speaks to this demon-possessed man, the man calls out that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God (verse 28). (See also Mark 3:11 and Mark 1:24)
These beings have spiritual knowledge that we could not possibly have; they are eyewitnesses to Jesus authority, having been in heaven with God and having been created to worship Him.
3. Demons fear Jesus as Lord over the coming judgment. Luke 8:28
By the demons words through the possessed man in verse 28, What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me, we can infer that demons know they are doomed to hell. Demons will try to convince us that there is no hell or any consequence for wrongdoing, but they know that Jesus has authority over them and that they will be punished for their evildoing.
Jesus Himself speaks to the reality of heaven in Matthew 25:41, Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels Hell is an eternal fire that was not created for man, but for the devil and his angels, as justice for their rebellion against the Lord. The devil is a strategic, calculating mastermind of evil who convinces people to do destructive things to themselves and others. We do not want to go to a place designed for the one who designed suicide, murder, rape, and betrayal. And we dont have to, because Jesus has offered us the hand of salvation. We only choose the final torment designed for the devil if we reject what Jesus offers.
4. Demons submit to His word. Luke 8:32-33
Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. Luke 8:32-33
Who has the authority here? Jesus! The demons beg Jesus to permit them to enter the swine. When He does, they immediately obey His command.
By their words and actions in this passage, we know that dont actually believe the lies they feed to people. By their own admission, the truth is that Jesus is the son of God, they must obey Him, and their evildoing will be punished in hell.
Many people take the position suggested by demons (My life is about me, I am in control, and I can do whatever I want ) without actually realizing it. The devil will never tell us in the beginning that he wants us to serve him. Hell just feed us whatever we need to hear to get us away from God. But his desire is to kill us eternally. Instead, we should acknowledge the truth and do what the demons cant do: repent and follow the living God!