TEXT: Matthew 8:14-17
14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
The gospels report that Jesus cast a demon or demons out of a specific individual at least nine separate times. Most of these accounts are recorded in all three or four gospels. Of course, in the passage that we are continuing to look at today, we find that Jesus cast out many devils at one time as people brought their possessed relatives to Him for that purpose. Jesus took the problem of demon-possession very seriously, and, evidently, the people who lived in first-century Palestine took it seriously as well. We have no record of Jesus ever telling someone who brought a supposedly demon-possessed family member to Him, ‘No, your relative, your friend isn’t demon-possessed. They just have mental problems. They don’t need demons cast out; what they need is mental healing.’ To be clear, there medical Doctors who say that mental health issues are real; they can and should be addressed; and Jesus can miraculously heal those too. However, demon-possession is also real and we should take it seriously today as Jesus did in His day.
According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: “Throughout Jesus’ life we see his work against the devastating work of demons in the lives of people. The vocabulary of demonic activities against human beings is rich and varied, though it all shows movement toward the ultimate destruction of people. Throughout the gospel accounts, [evil] spirits evidenced control over human hosts. Several terms are used to describe this. Jesus warned in a parable of the possibility of multiple demons living in or indwelling a person. Evil spirits were in the demoniac in the synagogue; the Gerasene demoniac was a person who was with an [unclean] spirit that drove or impelled him.
“People who have demons are demonized, a word which comes from the Greek word ‘dai-mo-niz-o-mai.’ This term is generally translated as demon-possessed. However, it does not convey the English concept of possession (either ownership or eternal destiny) as much as it does temporary control (for example, being ‘under the power of demons’ as the Amplified version translates it). This idea is seen in the elderly woman who was bound by Satan for eighteen years before being set free by Jesus.
“The New Testament describes physical, social, and spiritual symptoms of demonic control, though no exhaustive list is given. The physical symptoms include muteness, blindness, self-inflicted wounds, crying out, screaming, convulsions, seizures, falling to the ground, rolling around, foaming at the mouth, grinding of the teeth, and rigidity, inhuman strength, and staying active day and night. The social symptoms include dwelling in unclean places and going around naked. The spiritual symptoms include supernatural abilities such as recognition of the person of Christ and reaction against him and the ability to tell the future. None of these symptoms by itself should be seen as proof of demonization. Rather, they are examples of the types of manifestations that come with demonic infestation.”
Thankfully, Jesus came to ‘set the captives — including those who are demon-possessed or held captive by demons — free’ from their prisons. In all of His dealings with demons, Jesus treated the afflicted human with compassion and demonstrated authority over the possessing spirit. Jesus spoke the word and the demons fled — unlike the elaborate exorcism rituals of the Catholic Church which media reports tell us are on the rise and that have become popularized in films and TV shows such as Constantine and The Exorcist. Lord willing, in our next message, we will look closer at what it meant for Jesus to ‘cast out’ these evil spirits.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.