There is one certainty about the ultimate end of history. God wins, Satan is defeated. The evil one knows that he will not prevail, but he tries to destroy the souls of men while he still has a chance. In today’s gospel passage from Luke, Jesus interferes with one of Satan’s minions and is questioned by the demon.
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
Although the demon professes that he knows Jesus, and even says aloud the truth of the nature of the Lord, that Jesus is the Holy One of God. Jesus, however, will have none of it and commands the demon to be quiet.
This is a story with a powerful message. It is not enough that we know the true nature of Jesus. It is not enough that we believe that Jesus is the Christ. Even Satan recognizes who and what Jesus is. For us, it is not sufficient that we know Jesus. We must surrender our heart and will to him.