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Storms and Demons

Storm
Creative Commons License photo credit: AK Rockefeller

The Bible says Jesus rebuked nature, he gave orders to the wind and rain. I want to show you a few other places where Jesus displays this same authority.

Man with an evil spirit at the synagogue ( Luke 4:31-37)

31 Jesus went down to the city of Capernaum in Galilee and taught the people each Sabbath. 32 They were amazed by his teaching because he delivered his message with authority.

33 A man in the synagogue had the spirit of an unclean demon. He screamed, 34 “Hey! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.”

35 “Silence!” Jesus said, speaking harshly to the demon. “Come out of him!” The demon threw the man down before them, then came out of him without harming him.

Boy with epilepsy and demon (Luke 9:37-43) 

37 The next day, when Jesus, Peter, John, and James had come down from the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. 38 A man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to take a look at my son, my only child. 39 Look, a spirit seizes him and, without any warning, he screams. It shakes him and causes him to foam at the mouth. It tortures him and rarely leaves him alone. 40 I begged your disciples to throw it out, but they couldn’t.”

41 Jesus answered, “You faithless and crooked generation, how long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him down and shook him violently. Jesus spoke harshly to the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.43 Everyone was overwhelmed by God’s greatness.

Luke records Jesus “speaking harshly” with demons and sickness. Like a parent would do, like a Master would do.

After Jesus calms the storm – (Luke 8:26-39)

26 Jesus and his disciples sailed to the Gerasenes’ land, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a certain man met him. The man was from the city and was possessed by demons. For a long time, he had lived among the tombs, naked and homeless. 28 When he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down before him. Then he shouted, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 He said this because Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.

Again, notice that Jesus speaks to this demon army as their General. Who is in charge? Who gives the orders? Jesus does.

Many times it had taken possession of him, so he would be bound with leg irons and chains and placed under guard. But he would break his restraints, and the demon would force him into the wilderness.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had entered him. 31 They pleaded with him not to order them to go back into the abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, 33 and the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned.

34 When those who tended the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and told the story in the city and in the countryside. 35 People came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully dressed and completely sane. They were filled with awe.

36 Those people who had actually seen what had happened told them how the demon-possessed man had been delivered. 37 Then everyone gathered from the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave their area because they were overcome with fear.

The miracles we read about are literally, Jesus giving instructions to the realms of Heaven and Earth and those realms obey him.

No question.

It could be the weather, it could be inanimate objects like bread or it could be super natural beings – it doesn’t matter.

And although it doesn’t look like it, the stories of Jesus calming the storm and Jesus casting out Legion are linked.  Perhaps not in the language of the stories, but in how Jesus approaches both storm and demons.

Jesus tells things to “be quiet.”

Jesus tells the storm to be quiet. When demons say they know who Jesus is, he tells them to “be quiet.” After the wind and waves calm down the disciples ask “who is this?” When the people of the town saw the demon possessed man sane and dressed Luke says that they were “filled with awe” and they asked Jesus to leave. Why? Didn’t he just do this great amazing magic trick?

No, they didn’t understand his power and so they were afraid of him. They were afraid, because like the disciples they could not answer the question, “Who is this?”

 

 

 

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