A few months ago, a woman who somehow knew I was a pastor came up to me and asked if I had ever helped people who had spirits in their homes. Immediately I could feel the hair go up on the back of my neck as I replied, “Not really. Why?” She explained that they had built their home a few years ago, so no one else had ever lived there but their family. Still, she had eleven pages of notes recording all the strange phenomena she had observed in her house. Interesting, huh? Yes, but scary, too. While we can explain away a lot of things scientifically and medically, there are still things going on that defy explanation and suggest that spirits and demons may still be alive and well like they were when Jesus was on the earth.
In this week’s gospel lesson, which I’ll be preaching on, Jesus and his disciples come meet a man possessed by multiple demons (Luke 8:26-39). Pretty scary stuff. But then Jesus shows that he has complete command of unclean spirits. Even scarier, right? For some, yes!
Now, with that truth in our mind, how will we deal with the demons we encounter? We may not encounter anyone completely possessed by demons, but I’ll bet you’ve met people who in some way seemed to be under their influence. Addiction, abuse, self-destructive behavior and hateful words could all be the product of our depraved, fallen state. But perhaps someone or something drives those behaviors in some. If that’s true, then you better take good notes when Jesus exhibits complete and total authority over those someones or somethings. You better not go out there without your armor, either.