The Roman Catholic Church is in need of more exorcists. In an article posted on catholic.org, their want is due to a recent rise in documented cases of demonic possessions. This situation that the Catholic Church finds itself in corresponds to the biblical belief in the existence and activity of Satan, demons, and evil. As the later half of 1 John 5:19 declares, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
In Mark 1:23-28, Jesus is confronted by a man who was possessed by a demon. What is truly remarkable is how Jesus rid this man of his spiritual oppressor. He did not recite a specific prayer or creed. He did not invoke a higher power. He did not act out a ritual. Jesus simply spoke, “Be silent, and come out of him!” (v. 25). And with these words, Jesus commanded the demon to leave and the demon could not do anything else but simply obey!
Jesus’ words are incredibly powerful. Earlier on in Mark 1:17, he commanded four fishermen “follow me” and in response they abandoned everything and followed him. Later on in Mark 4:39, he commanded a stormy sea “Peace! Be still!” and in response the storm immediately stopped and the sea instantly calmed. Jesus’ words are so powerful that the writer of Hebrews says that “he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (v. 3a). It should not be surprising then that when Jesus commanded a demon to take a hike, the demon packed up his bags and hit the road.
The reason why Jesus’ words are so powerful is because they are in fact the very words of God the Father. Jesus spoke about the Divine origin of his words in John 12:49, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak.” When Jesus spoke, God the Father spoke. And through Jesus’ words, the full weight of God the Father’s authority and power is expressed.
The Bible is clear in its teaching concerning the ongoing spiritual war that begun in the Garden of Eden. Right now, the forces of evil are on the attack. In this war, one of the best weapons that an individual can arm him or herself with is Jesus’ word – the Word of God. Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12 both describe the Bible as a “sword.” This sword is incredibly powerful. And when unsheathed, God’s authority and power is revealed.
In the midst of the spiritual war that the world is hosting, God’s people must arm themselves with Jesus’ word – the Word of God. They need to read, memorize, and meditate upon it. But God’s people also need to make sure that they obey the Scriptures and do what the Bible says. In submitting themselves to Jesus’ word, they will be unsheathing God’s power in and through their lives. And just like the demon who was exorcised by Jesus, when confronted with God’s word, evil will cower and flee before God’s people.