PARTNERS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART XCVIII
The vehicle for God and Christ on earth is man; in particular, man in the human body. The body houses the life-bearing spirit (the ruach) and the breath of life, which enables man to be an independent being. The Creator made a couple with reproductive seed. That seed is smaller than a mustard seed; yet, it continues to reproduce until God decides to shut it down. The body is also man’s vehicle that houses his brain and his mental apparatus, which directs him in all his activities. A sick body makes it very difficult for the brain and any other part of the body to function. I do know, first hand, when I lost seventy percent use of my hands, how difficult it became for my brain to issue and carry out orders. Thanks to my Maker, my brain could retrain and adapt to work where my hands could be compensated. The accident was caused by another worker and myself, and not by some supernatural power. However, according to the New Testament writers, the world is in the hands of Satan, who is the source of evil.
THE ORIGIN OF EVIL WAS AND IS SATAN’S DOING
The day, Adam and Eve proceeded from the Creator’s hands. Satan, too, invaded the earth. And Satan began to impact the mind of Eve and she tricked her husband Adam in disobeying God. In Jesus’ time, the belief in the power of Satan’s angels and demons was rampant. The Gospel writers, prematurely, used their cases to silence the demons from identifying the Christ. Therefore, the healing itself freed the demon possessed from the sickness and disabilities imposed on them by the evil spirits. Satan is behind all the evil in the world.
Jesus said to them (Jews), “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but He sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:42-47).
Now as Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, “Woman, you are free from your infirmity.” And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and leads it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him (Luke 13:10-17).
ON JESUS’ FIRST DAY IN CAPERNAUM, HE HAD TO HEAL A MAN WITH A SICK MIND
Nazareth, the place where Jesus grew up, rejected and nearly killed Jesus. So, Jesus went to Capernaum and entered a synagogue. Jesus’ appearance disturbed a sick mind, who disrupted the service by identifying Him as, “The Holy One of God.” Jesus had no alternative, but to silence the demon and free the man from Satan’s power. And this caused the people to marvel. Our modern and sophisticated man resents Jesus’ view and wording of Satan’s influence. Therefore the massive attempt by medicine and psychiatry to treat mental sickness as being physical is not making any advances beyond what Jesus did. Exorcism is on the rise and it does provide some mental relief. When I was disabled, at the age of twenty-one, I had spiritual help to put my mind back on its feet. I needed the Lord again in my sixties when my PSA was 129. The peace of the Lord does pass human understanding (John 14:27). Hence, the very first thing Jesus did was to heal the mind of a mental case in Capernaum and many others after that busy day.
And Jesus went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the sabbath; and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ah! 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 when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And reports of him went out into every place in the surrounding region
.And he arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they besought him for her. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she rose and served them.
Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ (Luke 4:31-41).
JESUS’ RETURN TO CAPERNAUM APPEARED SUCCESSFUL
Crowds crowded Jesus out of curiosity and not with the intentions to change their sinful ways. The next lesson on a sick mind became very memorable. It teaches many things man takes for granted. Mental illness impairs the victim to manage himself, overburdens others, and blames the wrong cause. Sickness was then and still is a coverup for sin! Therefore, the victims do manipulate their coverup for their sin to their advantage. The paralytic was put in that position by his sins, and he had four people pay for his mistakes. My accident put me in the hospital for eighteen months, and I had many human angels sacrifice for me. Just think about what your impairments cost those who care for you to fix your mind?
And when Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Now Some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Rise take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he said to the paralytic — “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12).
JESUS FREED A MAD GREEK FROM TWO THOUSAND DEMONS
Demons were real in Jesus’ day and they are even more so in our time. According to the writer to the Ephesians, demons are not flesh and blood, but they are invisible forces that shape the authorities and the powers, which rule the world (Ephesians 6:12). These forces, with their leader, have targeted the members of Jesus the Christ. And they are determined to destroy the Christians because they remind sinners of God and the truth (Revelation 12:13-17). Many false Christs, and even anti-christs have appeared early causing division and antagonism, which has led to the re-christianization of Christians (Matthew 24:4-5; Mark 13:5-6; I John 2:18-19). The demons tried to keep the Son of God out of Jerusalem and Judea. In our time, the demons and their demonic followers have taken Christ out of our Churches, homes, schools, politics, and nations. For an extended time in history, some parts of Europe and America sheltered Christians from harming and hurting each other; however, now the Christians are open season for predators. These demons are creating havoc, chaos, suffering and death! And then these demons blame God for allowing these things being tolerated (Revelation 12:7-12). Jesus had no hesitation to point at Satan, who was using man to create misery, pain, and death. The Jewish leaders were Satan’s executioners and the children of the devil (John 8:34-47). Satan tortured a woman for eighteen years (Luke 13:16). Satan afflicted Paul all his life (II Corinthians 12:7). The Gospel of Matthew reports what Satan did to two men (Matthew 8:28-34). And Luke and Mark recalled what Satan did to one man and to their community (Luke 8:26-39).
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had come out of te boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him; and crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is legion; for we are many.” And he begged him eagerly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him, “Send us to the swine, let us enter into them.” So he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered into the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.
The swineherds fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. And those who saw it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighborhood. And as he was getting into the boat; the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marveled (Mark 5:1-20).