Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit began shouting, “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
Mark wrote his Gospel in the form of a fast-paced story, like a popular novel. The book portrays Jesus as a man who backed up his words with actions that constantly proved who he is—the Son of God. Because Mark wrote his Gospel for Christians in Rome, where many gods were worshiped, he wanted his readers to know that Jesus is the one true Son of God.
Mark emphasized Jesus’ conflicts with evil powers to show his superiority over them, so he recorded many stories about Jesus driving out evil spirits. Evil spirits, or demons, are ruled by Satan. They work to tempt people to sin. They were not created by Satan (because God is the Creator of all). Rather, they are fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion.
Though not all disease comes from Satan, demons can cause a person to become mute, deaf, blind, or insane. But in every case where demons confronted Jesus, they lost their power. Thus God limits what evil spirits can do; they can do nothing without his permission. During Jesus’ life on earth, demons were allowed to be very active to demonstrate once and for all Christ’s power and authority over them.
There is a danger of thinking too much or too little about the enemy and his tactics. Consider advice like Ephesians 6:10-18, which encourages you to “put on all of God’s armor” (6:11).