25 Feb. Mark 9:14-27

25 Feb. Jesus shows his followers how to cast out an evil spirit

"When Jesus, Peter, James and John came back to the other followers, they saw a great crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. But as soon as the crowd saw Jesus, the people were surprised and ran to welcome him."

"Jesus asked, 'What are you arguing about?' A man answered, 'Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has an evil spirit in him that stops him from talking. When the spirit attacks him, it throws him to the ground. Then my son foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and becomes very stiff. I asked your followers to force the evil spirit out, but they couldn't.'"

"Jesus answered, 'You people have no faith. How long must I stay with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.'"

"So the followers brought him to Jesus. As soon as the evil spirit saw Jesus, it made the boy lose control of himself, and he fell down and rolled on the ground, foaming at the mouth."

"Jesus asked the boy's father, 'How long has this been happening?' The father answered, 'Since he was very young. The spirit often throws him into a fire or into water to kill him. If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us.'"

"Jesus said to the father, 'You said, "If you can!" All things are possible for the one who believes.' Immediately, the father cried out, 'I do believe! Help me to believe more!'"

"When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he ordered the evil spirit, saying, 'You spirit that makes people unable to hear or speak, I command you to come out of this boy and never enter him again!'"

"The evil spirit screamed and caused the boy to fall on the ground again. Then the spirit came out. The boy looked as if he were dead, and many people said, 'He is dead!' But Jesus took hold of the boy's hand and helped him to stand up."

          (Mark 9:14-27)



Have you ever witnessed something like this? We have!

This wasn't an 'ordinary' healing of deafness. This boy's physical disability was just a symptom of something much more traumatic affecting his life. It's quite unusual for us to see someone thrown to the floor and rolling on the ground - but, like this boy, it does occasionally happen.

When we lived in Sheffield in the 1980s, we attended a practical workshop on prayer led by John Wimber.

As we asked the Holy Spirit to come down in power, a middle-aged man collapsed onto the floor in the aisle next to us and began groaning and writhing like a snake. We'd never seen anything like this in our lives, but we quickly recognised the symptoms to be similar to those in today's Bible passage.

In Mark 16:17, Jesus is recorded as saying to his followers, "Those who believe will be able to do these things as proof: they will use my name to force out demons." - a clear invitation for Spirit-filled Christians to act in Jesus's name and with his authority.

So we addressed the spirit causing the man to roll on the floor, and commanded it to leave the man immediately "in Jesus's name" (i.e. with Jesus's authority). After a short time of shouting and writhing on the floor, the spirit left him, and the man lay motionless on the floor. Gradually, he began to move again, and then sat up with a big smile on his face. We asked him how he felt, and he replied, "I feel clean!"

At the worship service the next morning, the man stood up to testify publicly how he'd been completely set free from an addiction to pornography. He could hardly believe it, and neither could we.

Ever since, we've never hesitated, when necessary, to use Jesus's authority and the power of Jesus's name to tell debilitating powers of evil where to go. We address any evil powers gripping a person by name, and order them to go wherever Jesus commands them.

Why do we do this? Because Jesus told his followers to cast the 'demons' out of people's lives (Mark 16:17) and this is how Jesus did it: "He ordered the evil spirit, saying, 'You spirit.. I command you to come out of this boy and never enter him again!" (Mark 9:25)

The photo shows houses in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada.

You can read more of Jesus's teaching @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-pays-the-temple-tax/

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