Dave Williams speaking on Mark 1:21-34. He spoke about the difference between demon possession and illness. Encouraging us to remember Jesus’ authority over both demons and sickness.
21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. 29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
Illness vs Demon Possession
- The first important thing to note is that not all sickness comes from demon possession. In this story you see two distinctions. There are people who are demon possessed and those who are just sick.
- Matthew 8:16-17 16 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.
- I was once told when I had cancer that I was demon possessed. The woman said we should just pray the demon out and then I would no longer have cancer. There is a thought in Christianity today that sickness equals demon possession, but those are not the same thing.
- However, we do know that illnesses and disease were not apart of God’s plan for our life originally—sin introduced that.
Jesus vs. Scribes
- 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
- Scribes are people who prescribed things but also wrote things down.
- Jesus wasn’t just a teacher or a scribe. It says here that he taught with authority. The scribes, when they taught, only taught what they were taught, they didn’t have first hand knowledge of God but simply rules and regulations that they were to follow. Christ was God and so he could speak of himself.
- The tendency when you grow up in the church is that you know about the Gospel but you may not have a relationship with Jesus. Just because you have grown up in the church does not mean that you are a Christian. There are many people who know about God, but don’t really know him, don’t have that personal relationship with him.
- The purpose of knowing God’s word is knowing God personally.
- This also gives us the opportunity to stop and remind ourselves that we too can speak with authority about Christ because of HIs spirit that is in us and the Word of God that has been given to us.
- 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him.
Jesus has Authority of Demons
- Look at what this text says. It is not a struggle between good and evil. Not a battle between Satan and God, but it is a one-sided and clear victor account.
- God has authority over demons. It is not even close.
- Jesus speaks and the demon is out. It’s over. If you know someone who is demon possessed, you speak God’s word into them and the demons will flee. God can’t exist around demons.
- You may remember this verse from when you read James last year:
James 2:19, “ You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”
- Demons can’t even be around God’s name. What that also means for believers is that God now lives inside of you which means you have authority over demons as well, and as a believer you cannot be demon possessed.
- Satan can attack you and tempt you but can not possess you. You are God’s!
- It is not a huge contest or war between Satan and God. The war is within us, to see if we really believe that God is all who he says he is. In God’s mind it is completely finished.
- For someone who doesn’t believe in God a demon can certainly be inside of them. We as Christians can share the Gospel with them, casting out the demon for the solution to demon possession is Christ coming into them.
Jesus has Authority over Sickness
- 29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
- We were designed to live forever but because of sin our flesh is going to die. Sickness exists today because we are living in a dying world because of sin. Prior to man sinning, there was no sickness. The wages of sin is death, hence sickness. Sickness is our flesh dying. Sickness for a Christian does not actually lead to death, because we will live eternally with him and receive new bodies that will never be impacted by sin again!
- But we will deal with sickness on this earth.
- Yet, the first thing we see is that Christ never got sick. He couldn’t have because he never sinned! The only person to walk this earth and never catch a cold!
- We also see that the impact of sin on our flesh can be removed by Christ as well.
- This is a sign of how Christ was going to stop sin from winning.
- God has authority over sickness because God has authority over sin through dying on the cross for all sin.
- Remember what Matthew 8:16-17 said, “17 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.
- Jesus has authority over satan because He is holy and he has authority over sickness because he conquered sin!
- God did not just die for our sins but died for the effects of our sins. When he forgives us he acts like it never even happened.
- But why does God make us sick? Through our sickness we can show people that even though we are sick we will glorify and praise God in the midst of that. Despite our sickness we can stay faithful to God and trust him in those times.
- Where there is great need God reveals himself with miracles, signs and wonders. That’s why we hear of incredible miracles in impoverished countries. Here in America we can go the doctors, so God reveals himself to us differently here, but God heals to reveal his glory to the world.
- God doesn’t always heal every sickness we have but he does save us from the final effects of sickness, which is sin. All we have to do is believe that Christ did come down and die on the cross for all of our sin, the effects of sin, and that he rose from the grave and we too get to rise with him!