Friday, February 15, 2008

Lent '08 - Day 9: What do with Jesus and the demons?

Why have I become so conditioned at overlooking Jesus' interaction with demons? I know it occurs frequently. Can I really ponder and study the Kingdom insight from Jesus and neglect his dealings with the demons? Spiritual warfare stuff makes me nervous as I usually see two extremes. For some, everything is spoke of in terms of battle with the enemy. Others, never speak or think about it. They would say that what the gospel writers were calling demons were really just mental diseases.

The problem with the first extreme is that it isn't comprehensive of Jesus' life. He wasn't just about driving out demons, and he didn't talk as though everything was a repercussion of something happening in the spiritual realm. But Jesus definitely did deal with demons. Mentally ill people, to my knowledge, don't shout out and say "What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the apointed time?" (Matthew 8:28-34). They certainly don't cause hundreds of pigs to drown from a a mountainside. And Jsesus did teach his followers to pray: "deliver us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13). As a result, I don't see how the second extreme is valid either.

I have predominantly been around people and churches that don't pay too much attention to the spiritual domain, If I were Satan, I would be ok with this. Having people oblivious to me, enables me to go about my business without interference. I suspect that those of us who don't really see any sign of the demons or spiritual evil have probably spent too much time with fellow well-to-do middle class citizens. My very limited exposure to such evil has usually come when I get off the beaten track, hearing stories of those stricken to the street, deemed unsightly, or living in poverty abroad.

There is so much more to look at and answer concerning this subject. I first want to do more of a Biblical study of Satan and demons in the Old Testament. The biggest incidences coming to mind are: Adam and Eve, Job, and Saul. I also need to review Jesus again. I don't have internet to look these things up, so I'll plan on writing more about this in the future. In the meantime, I want God to make my heart appropriately aware to the spiritual evil in the world. I don't want it to be my sole focus or to be ignorant.

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