But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” (Luke 4:35, 36 ESV)

Deliverance up to this point had been tolerated, they had no choice, for no one new how to get the demons out. However they manifested, whether it was legion or the boy who through himself into the fire or the Lady with the issue of blood (to name a only a few), they all had to operate damage limitation, and their lifestyle had to operate at a sub-standard level. Legion was chained up and lived around the tombs because he wasn’t tolerated in society. The boy who through himself in the fire would have to be watched at all times, the lady with the issue of blood spent all her money on Doctors, and was living in a place of constant anxiety. All because of the oppression, affliction and demonisation of the enemy. So when one comes along, who with a word speaks out deliverance, the people are truly amazed.

Somehow I think they knew it was about authority, the Jews knew they could not get the demons out. The story of the strongman is a helpful example of how a kingdom can displace another, the strongman is guarding the house and he must be overcome, and that can only happen by being more powerful, otherwise you will receive a beating. The Jews understood this concept, though this parable came later in Jesus’ ministry, they understood the kingdom battle for they were awaiting deliverance by the Messiah from the bonds of tyranny enforced by the Romans.

The deliverance Jesus demonstrated was understood on one level, Jesus was the stronger man, but this amazed them as they had never seen anything like this. With a word the man was delivered and set free. This was the kingdom he declared had arrived when he read the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue. This was light displacing dark. This is the voice activated kingdom, for it is with a word that the demon left, it is with a word that this man was set free. This is the kingdom that has been conferred upon us, the one of whom we are ministers and ambassadors, of which we have been given authority. This is what so struck the onlookers, that a man, full of the Spirit, could speak a word and the situation changed, the man was set free. The kingdom had come. The man, once occupied by the enemy, was now liberated.

This is the kingdom, that Jesus’ reign and rule would displace the enemy hold and that we would be liberated and submit to His kingship.

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