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19. Good News for the Sick

D. The Remedy

Jesus considered demon-possessed people to be sick people and treated them as He treated others suffering from the enslaving and destructive power of sin. He treated everyone with mercy and tenderness. The New Testament unequivocally demonstrates that Jesus’ power extends over the whole world of evil spirits and that a person’s faith in Him offers protection from every evil.

How does Jesus cast out evil spirits? He liberates people by the Holy Spirit and by His own word. “I drive out demons by the Spirit of God. ...” (Matthew 12:28). Matthew’s Gospel account also states that “He cast out the spirits with a word”. In Luke’s Gospel account (4:35), Jesus addressed an evil spirit: “Be quiet! Come out from him.”

The evil spirit whom Jesus addressed identified Jesus unambiguously and recognised His supernatural power. At Jesus’ command to come out, the evil spirit shuddered and pleaded that he and the other spirits be left alone. On other occasions the evil spirits mocked and tortured their victims, shrieking while they submitted to Jesus’ authority and abandoned their victims.

Occasionally Jesus emphasised the role of prayer in dealing with these mysterious maladies. Likewise, when God conferred His Spirit on the disciples of Jesus to heal, they themselves, trusting in Jesus and being obedient to His command, healed “in the name of Jesus”. In no case did Jesus or His disciples resort to magic formula or ritual, as the following event confirms.

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