Prayer of the Day
Daily PrayerSeptember 2nd, 2014
The first healing by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke is the expulsion of a demon, the freeing of a human being from an ‘unclean spirit’ or demon. Taking the road to the west, towards Capernaum, a city in Galilee is highly significant in the church of Luke’s time. People in Luke’s time associated sickness with the forces of evil. Luke says here that the man “had the spirit of an unclean demon.” This man made his way with an unclean spirit into the place of worship and began to abuse Jesus. There is no doubt but that the healings performed by Jesus, particularly the exorcisms, are the fruit, on the one part of the deep relationship Jesus was able to establish with those whom he met.
The account unfolds as follows: the demon recognises Jesus, the exorcist, and strikes back. Through the mouth of the possessed man, the demon is not satisfied in naming Jesus but in referring to where he came from: “What have you to do with us Jesus of Nazareth?”He knows, in fact who Jesus really is, I.e., ‘the holy one of God.” This is not a confession of faith on the part of the demon. Jesus tells him to be silent and to come out of him. To prove the authenticity of the expulsion, the man is thrown to the ground before the onlookers. The account concludes by giving us the impression left on the spectators: “They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come?”