“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.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him! And the unclean spirit, convulsing him, and crying with a loud voice, came out of him!”
The words above are from the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday, and they remind us that, with the arrival of Jesus and the Kingdom of God, the battle between good and evil, light and dark began!
The public ministry of Jesus started in the synagogue in Capernaum. The people there that day witnessed something truly amazing. Not only did Jesus teach and act with authority and summon them to repent and to believe that in Him God’s Kingdom draws near, but also at a single command the demon was silenced and fled in terror. The people had no idea who Jesus was or what He had come to do. His words and actions were unlike anything they had ever witnessed. He had an authority they had never seen before, but the demon knew who Jesus was and he was rightly terrified.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Holy One of God. He came to destroy the works of the devil on the Cross. The demon knew that to be the case. Yet Jesus also came to call His people to repent and believe the Good News, and He does the same today. When Jesus calls, we must follow. When Jesus commands us to repent and turn away from our sins, we must do so. When Jesus commands us to renounce our own righteousness and trust in Him, we must. If we don’t, we are continuing to participate with the work of the devil himself.
When the Kingdom of God draws near, men and women must repent of their sins and believe Jesus’ words, to turn from the darkness and live in light of God’s truth. This is a command to be obeyed, not an invitation to be considered. What does that look like for you today?
Words to ponder before you come to worship this weekend.