Demons . . . Can They Be Trusted?

Most people view demons through the lens of the fictional portrayal of them by Hollywood—as the scary subjects of Satan with wings and horns. Interestingly enough, they are presented by Mark in his gospel as trustworthy. That probably sounds strange at first, but an examination of the mentioning of demons in Mark’s gospel reveals that the demons were actually right about who Jesus was—they serve as reliable witnesses to who Jesus is. The demons end up saying the same thing about Jesus that Mark does.

Mark’s purpose in writing his gospel was to prove that Jesus was the Son of God. He writes in the first sentence of his account (as a thesis statement), “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1, emphasis mine). There are numerous places in Mark’s gospel where demons attest to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. One of these instances of things said by demons about Jesus is found in Mark 1:24, “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.” That’s who Jesus is—the Holy One of God. Immediately Jesus rebukes the demon (“the unclean spirit;” Mark 1:23) and it came out of the man (1:26). Another statement that is said by demons of Jesus is in Mark 3:11, “You are the Son of God.” Mark writes that when the unclean spirits had seen Jesus, they had fell down before Him and cried out that He is the Son of God. Again, here Jesus is called the Son of God by demons. Similarly, He is called “Jesus, Son of the Most High God” by demons in Mark 5:7.

These statements are important to Mark because he is showing that Jesus is truly God’s Son. In other places in Mark’s gospel, he supports Jesus’ Sonship by writing about His power. The calming of the storm (4:35-41), for example, shows Jesus’ power of nature. From healing diseases to raising the dead to life, Mark further reinforces the truth of Jesus’ Sonship by writing about the power He has over demons and what the demons had to say about Jesus—that even demons know who Jesus is and tell the truth about Him—that He is the Son of God.

While demons will never be saved, but will one day be cast into hell (Matt. 25:41), they can be trusted about who Jesus really is: the Son of God who has authority and power over all things; that “all things are in subjection under Him” (1 Cor. 15:27).

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