“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
The Devil Shrieked
Following the first sin in the Garden of Eden, God promised to send “the seed of the woman to crush the serpent’s head” (Genesis 3:15). It was that promise which guided and strengthened all who put their faith into what God had said. When the time was right, God the Father sent his Son into the world to fulfill his long-standing promise. (See Galatians 4:4-5.)
Jesus’ ministry was clear from the start. His reason for coming was not to make people feel better about themselves. Nor was his mission to make life easier. He came to destroy the devil’s power and release people from his tyranny. It is a ministry for which I am eternally grateful.
In an early account of Jesus’ ministry, Mark provides a glimpse of the precious work Jesus came to accomplish. Jesus had gone to Capernaum and into a synagogue to teach. While he was there an evil spirit revealed himself and challenged him. Sternly Jesus silenced him and commanded him to come out of the man. The evil spirit left with a shriek. It was that display of power which offered a preview of what Jesus would later do for me and for all people.
Through the authority of his teaching, and later through his death on the cross, Jesus did battle with the devil. No matter how hard the devil tried, he could not overcome Jesus with his temptations or defeat him with his power. Whatever authority the devil had come to an end when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. The risen Jesus descended into hell and there proclaimed his complete and ultimate victory. The head of the serpent was crushed. All the devil could do was shriek in defeat.
It is because of Jesus’ overwhelming victory that I am able to say, “No to sin and all ungodliness” (Titus 2:12). This means I can stand “toe to toe” with the devil in the good fight of faith. I am no longer a hapless victim. I am no longer hopeless or helpless in the battle. I can draw on the victory Jesus has secured for me, as well as the strength he provides in his Word.
When I rely on Jesus and depend on the power of his victory, the devil will flee from me with a shriek.
O blessed Redeemer, you have freed me from the devil’s control. You have also enabled me to fight and win the good fight of faith. Help me draw on the victory and the strength you offer and keep me faithful until the end. Amen.