Power in the Name – To Cast Out Demons

Power in the Name – To Cast Out Demons

Power in the Name – To Cast Out Demons.

“The seventy-two returned with joy to Jesus and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17).

“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons…” (Mark 16:7).

“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41).

“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved!’ She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment the spirit left her.” (Acts 16:16-18).

Many scholars have noted that Jesus conducted more exorcisms than any historical figure on record. Casting out demons seemed to take up just as much of His time as physical healings, and in fact, His ministry usually included both forms of healings together. “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons…”  (Mark 1:32-34). Jesus revealed His authority over physical ailments and over spiritual possession. In the spiritual realm, not one demon ever successfully resisted the commands of Jesus. As soon as the demons saw it was Jesus, they knew their days were numbered. It is heartening to see that Jesus was just as concerned with the spiritual world as He was the physical world.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus cast out demons to show His power over the Devil, to bring spiritual wholeness to the afflicted person, and to advance the kingdom of God. “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matt. 12:28). Wherever Christ’s kingdom spread, Satan’s realm diminished. The power of Christ overwhelmed the power of the Evil One. It was also significant that Jesus gave the spiritual power to cast out demons to His disciples. “Jesus summoned together His twelve disciples and imparted to them authority over every demon and the power to heal every disease.” (Luke 9:1). Sure enough, “They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” (Mark 6:13). Jesus’ power and authority in the spiritual realm was absolute, and in order to understand Jesus, we need to understand that. Peter said as much when he tried to explain to Cornelius who Jesus was: “Jesus of Nazareth was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and with great power. He did wonderful things for others and divinely healed all who were under the tyranny of the Devil; He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was harassed by the Devil.” (Acts 10:38). When Peter tried to help the Roman Gentile Cornelius understand Jesus, he put His exorcisms and power over demon-possession right at the top of the list. And so should we.