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God’s Word for You

Mark 3:11-12 The shouts of demons

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, January 29, 2022

11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down in front of him, crying out, “You are the Son of God!” 12 But he warned them sternly that they should not tell who he was.

This cry of the demons was not a confession of faith, such as when Peter said the same thing (Matthew 16:16). Jesus’ response to Peter after his statement was “You are blessed, Simon” (Matthew 16:17), and the demons and their king, the devil, are not blessed. They are forever cursed. Therefore this outcry is a scream of terror. When they recognized Jesus they did not see a Savior, but the face of the Almighty God, their tormentor, the One who judged them and sent them into hell forever. Jesus said: “Depart, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). And Peter said: “God did not spare the angels when they sinned but dragged them by the chains of hell and delivered them to hell, kept for judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). And in Isaiah 30:33, ancient Christians acknowledged the judgment of the devil himself in the words, “A pit has been prepared even for the king.”

Since the terrified screams of the demons contain no gospel and no faith, but only fear, Jesus did not accept their words as a valid preaching for his beloved sheep. He sends shepherds, not wolves, to gather his flocks (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2), and so he used his power to stop up the mouths of the demons so that their words would catch in their throats. Let the faithful proclaim him, and let the condemned be condemned. A faithful minister of Christ speaks on his behalf (Colossians 1:7), he encourages God’s people and testifies about the true grace of God (1 Peter 5:12).

When we preach and teach the doctrines of eternal judgment, hell, the demons and the damned, we never do so with the intent to frighten people into faith. Fear has no part in the gospel. These terrible things are preached to correct false security and the notion that there is no consequence for sin, to warn people against sinning against the conscience, and to warn against the proclivity, predisposition, or inclination to sin. It also teaches us to properly fear and respect God and to repent quickly of sin rather than delay repentance for any reason. Finally, these doctrines teach us to be patient in our afflictions and when adversaries persecute us, for I can perhaps endure hardships for a certain number of months or years of my life, or even the entire second half of my brief lifetime (2 Corinthians 12:7), if I know that the one who is torturing me and plotting evil against me will endure the everlasting punishment of hell, partly for what he has done to me. God’s grace is sufficient for us all, “This is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties” (2 Corinthians 12:10). We have the one and only true Redeemer,  who loves us, who watches over us,  and who will bring us at last from death to eternal and everlasting life. He is Jesus our Lord.

I know my faith is founded
On Jesus Christ, my God and Lord;
And this my faith confessing
Unmoved I stand upon his Word.
Our reason cannot fathom
The truth of God profound
Who trusts in worldly wisdom
Relies on shifting ground.
God’s Word is all-sufficient,
It makes divinely sure,
And, trusting in its wisdom,
My faith shall rest secure.

(“I Know My Faith is Founded” Text; E. Neumeister, 1671-1756, CW21 797:1).

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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