Who really has authority in this world? Is it Satan or is it God? The story of the temptations addresses that question. Satan claimed he had authority, even offered to share it with Jesus, the Son of God. Many today live their lives subject to Satan’s authority because they are convinced that he is the ruler of this world and we, the people of God, cannot stand against him.
Soon after the wilderness encounter Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated his power as the divine Son of God, King of kings, Lord of lords. Jesus went to Capernaum and sat down in a synagogue. He was asked to teach and began to do so. There was in that synagogue a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit sent from the father of evil spirits, Satan. That spirit recognized Jesus as the Holy One of God. The evil spirit questioned Jesus, “Are you here to destroy us?”
That was a great question but it went unanswered. Jesus responded “Be quiet,” and then followed it with “Come out of him.” It is here that the question of who has true authority is answered. The other members of the synagogue recognized that a great authority was present. They had never seen this done. They were convinced that Evil was in charge and nothing could be done about it.
“What is this message?” they asked. What is the teaching here? Where did this authority come from? They understood what they witnessed. But where did Jesus get the authority to speak to evil in that way? They knew he had authority because he spoke with power to accomplish what he ordered. They spread the word that one with authority over evil spirits was in Galilee. Only God could do what Jesus had done. Could this be the promised one? Was the demon correct when he called Jesus the Holy One of God?
Is there a spirit of evil in your heart? Are you allowing the devil to control you? Is the power of evil leading you into darkness and despair? The evil one only has the power you give to him. If you are under his control it’s because you are a volunteer. Jesus came to set the captives free. If you turn to him, he will cast the power of evil out of your life and replace it with the power of the grace of God.
What is the message? Who do you think has the authority over this world? Listen to some of Jesus’s final words. “All authority has been given to me, on heaven and on earth.” Believe it. Turn your life over to the real authority.