Sunday, February 1, 2009

Epiphany 4

Today's readings were Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, and Mark 1:21-28 (sermon text).

In the text, Satan is in God's house (!) and not intimidated by Jesus (!). Christ resists this and all of Satan's temptations, even as He preaches the Gospel to many. This Word is powerful - before the demoniac's entrance, He was teaching with authority, giving spiritual life. Perhaps we're too used to the Word, not being astonished at the display of its raw power. But this same power brought us to Him.

Baptism used to be accompanied by an explicit exorcism - Satan must leave as God enters. It's just as real a miracle as the one in our text. Satan still distracts when we're in God's house - sometimes he's even right beside us. Become aware of this and resist him.

Before Lucifer and his angels fell from heaven, they met Christ at God's right hand. Christ came to defeat them - not a first encounter. Remember that God must empty us, too, before He fills us. Be possessed by Him. Be amazed that He triumphs over evil!

Have a blessed Sunday.

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