Jesus’ Authority Over Demons

Since I haven’t been preaching from the Old Testament on Sunday mornings (except for the occasional passage connected to something in Luke, i.e. 2 Kings 5 about Naaman a few Sundays ago), I haven’t thought as much about types of Christ like I used to when I was in the Samuels. Colossians 2:17 says all the types in the Old Testament “are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ“; therefore, in Luke it’s not about looking at the various types or shadows, but the actual substance, Jesus Christ. This past week though I was really thinking about a type in the Old Testament that related to the passage I was studying: Luke 4:31-37 when Jesus casts out an unclean spirit from a man in the synagogue in Capernaum.

If you ask people for pictures or types of Christ in the Old Testament, David has to be one of – if not thee – strongest. Jesus sits on the throne of David (2 Sam 7:12-16) and seventeen times in the Gospels Jesus is called the Son of David. Plus there are all the different ways David looks like Jesus: both born in Bethlehem, shepherds, anointed, kings, hated for no reason, betrayed by close friends, and the list goes on. My suspicion is if you asked someone how David is a type of Christ these are probably the most common answers you’d receive, but I doubt you’d hear someone mention David delivering Saul from the tormenting spirit. That’s what I kept thinking about this past week though: as I prepared my sermon on Jesus delivering a man from demon possession I kept thinking about what David did for Saul, and it convinced it reminded me of Jesus’ ministry delivering people from demon possession. Like all types though, they generally pale in comparison to the reality and that’s the case with this one as well…

First, Saul was tormented, but he wasn’t possessed; if he had been, David would’ve been unable to help him because only Jesus has the power and authority to cast out demons. When others (like Paul) delivered people, it was only because Jesus gave them the authority to do it like He did in Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. When Paul cast the demon out of the young girl working for the fortunetellers, in Acts 16:18 he said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” David couldn’t say that.

Second, even when David helped Saul, it only lasted a short period of time before the tormenting spirit returned. Jesus on the other hand delivered people permanently. In Jesus’ Parable of the Unclean Spirit That Returns in Luke 11:24-26, one of the points is the demon returned because the house was empty, picturing an unbeliever absent of the Holy Spirit allowing demon possession (1 John 4:4). Through faith in Christ though, we become the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19), able to have victory over the demonic realm and sin and death.

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