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Archive for March 9th, 2010

In Luke 4:34 a man possessed by an unclean spirit cries out to Jesus "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?"

This is the first encounter between Jesus and an unclean spirit. So the question is what will happen?

Clearly the unclean spirit is afraid of what Jesus might do to him (Bock 1994:431).

He speaks of himself using the plural us. While it is possible that the demon is referring to himself and all other demons who will be destroyed by Jesus, it seems more likely that the demon is referring to himself and to the man he possesses.

He is issuing a challenge to Jesus, saying in effect that the only way Jesus can drive out the demon is by destroying the man as well (Bock 1994:432; Green 1997:223).

Possibly the implication is that if Jesus does not leave them alone, the demon will hurt, harm, and even destroy the man.

Hence Luke makes the point "he came out of him, having done him no harm."

So Jesus is able to defeat the unclean spirit without destroying the man.

Reminds me that Jesus is able to destroy the sin that resides in me and threatens to kill me and he is able to do so without destroying me in the process.

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