What Jesus Did! 'Authority Over Demons' — Luke 4:33-37

Thursday, March 2, 2023

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Once when [Jesus] was in the synagogue [in Capernaum], a man possessed by a demon — an evil spirit — cried out, shouting, "Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!"

But Jesus reprimanded him. "Be quiet! Come out of the man," he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.

Amazed, the people exclaimed, "What authority and power this man's words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!" The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region.

— Luke 4:33-37 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus' authority — his personal power and integrity, and the strength of his words — extended over Satan and the demonic world. Demons knew who Jesus was, and they had no control or power over him, but he had power over them. His command cast them out. So many of us today struggle with Satan because we've given him a foothold in our lives through deception, harbored bitterness, lust, or some other "secret" sin. Jesus still has power over Satan and the demonic world. His authority is superior. If we've let Satan into our lives because of our sinfulness as we encounter his difficult footholds and strongholds, we must bring Jesus' authority to bear by
  1. confessing our sin openly to God in Jesus' name, [1]
  2. asking for our sin to be forgiven,
  3. not holding that sin secret just to ourselves, but rather confessing our struggle to a strong believer [2] (often someone of our same gender) and ask him or her to hold us accountable and encourage us,
  4. praying in the name of Jesus for deliverance from that sin and for power to resist its temptation, asking for and submitting to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us, [3] and
  5. staying away from evil and keeping our hearts exposed to what is pure [4] rather than flirting with the evil [5] that has captured us.

Does this work? Well, it's not just a superficial recipe. Our hearts have to seek after the Lord, trusting that he does have the power to deliver us. For most believers over the centuries, sincerely doing these things is the path to victory. That path can be yours, as well!

[1] 1 John 1:9.
[2] James 5:16.
[3] 2 Corinthians 3:18.
[4] Philippians 4:8.
[5] James 4:7.

Today's Prayer

Father, remove all the power of deception that the devil has in my life and help me confront the areas of my weakness, stubbornness, rebellion, and sin so that my heart, soul, and body will be completely yielded to your direction. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 26:9-18
  • Colossians 1:9-14
  • Colossians 2:12-15, 20

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 4:33-37 NLT — "What authority and power this man's words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.