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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
44- Christ's Authority over Demons
With Respect to His Authority over Demons
(1) The demons were afraid of the Lord Jesus Christ and cried out on seeing Him for fear of being destroyed or tormented. For example:
(a) The man at the synagogue of Capernaum who was possessed with an evil spirit. The spirit cried out, saying: "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God' (Mk. 1:22-24); (Mk. 3:1 1).
(b) The man who was called Legion because he had many demons, who was tied up with chains and chackles because of his violence. When he saw the Lord, he fell down before Him and cried out with a loud voice, saying: "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!" (Lk. 8:28)
(c) The two outrageous mad men who came out of the tombs in the country of Gergesenes so fierce that no one could pass that way. When they saw the Lord, they cried out, saying: "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" (Matt. 8:29) And the Lord permitted the demons to leave the two men and go into a herd of swine.
(2) The Lord's order silenced the devils and drove them out. In Capernaum the Lord Jesus Christ rebuked an unclean spirit, saying: "Be quiet, and come out of him" (Mk. 1:25), and with Legion He "commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man" (Lk. 8:29), and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. The Lord rebuked a dumb spirit, saying: "You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him, and enter him no more!" (Mk. 9:25) In the case of the boy who was seized and convulsed by an unclean spirit, the Lord "rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father" (Lk. 9:42,43).
In all these cases, the evil spirits obeyed the command of the Lord Jesus Christ and came out immediately. This authority can never belong to a human being.
(3) Not only did the evil spirits come out by the Lord's command, but also in His name. When the disciples said to Him: "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name" (Lk. 10: 17), it was because He had given them authority over every power of the adversary. This is the difference between the Lord and human beings in casting out demons: He cast them out by His authority whereas they cast them out by His authority and not by their order. Thus the Lord said about those who would believe in Him: "In My name they will cast out demons" (Mk. 16:17). An example of this is the incident of the slave-girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination and who followed St. Paul. The Book of Acts says that St. Paul "turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour" (Acts 16:18).
(4) We observe that casting out demons is mentioned under three different names for demons: either the plain word demons, or evil spirits, or mad persons, as is clear from the previous examples, and from the following verses: (Lk. 10:17,20), (Mk. 7:25,26,29), (Lk. 8:29,30), (Lk. 9:42), (Lk. 10:17,20) and (Matt. 10: 1,8).
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