Jesus’ Authority Over Demons Can Help You Overcome Them!

Shared on April 14, 2024

Many of us are facing and trying to battle our demons today. However, how many of us are depending on Jesus’ authority over demons to defeat our demons? Join Pastor McCrary for this week’s Sunday School lesson where we will see that even demons recognize Jesus’ authority. You can overcome whatever demons you’re facing today, but you must have faith in Christ!


In last week’s lesson, we saw the spiritual meaning behind Jesus turning water into wine. Our lesson this week will bring our attention to another miracle of Jesus. I want you to pay close once again to what is represented by this miracle and consider how God works in your life. Once again, we will see the authority of Jesus, and therefore, the authority of the Lord.

A Desperate Father

Something we have seen in all of the miracles we have studied this quarter is the desperate need for Jesus.  Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood were in desperate need of help.  Martha and Mary were desperate for Jesus to come save Lazarus before he died.  In our lesson last week, at the wedding in Cana, there was a desperate need for Jesus to help.

Disciples unable to help

As our lesson opens this week, Jesus is immediately greeted by a great multitude.  A crowd had gathered around a dispute between scribes and the disciples of disciples.  So, when Jesus came to the disciples the crowd ran to meet Him.  What was the dispute about?  Jesus also wondered the same thing (Mark 9:14-16).

Before an answer could be given, a man in the crowd began to speak to Jesus.  The man said to Jesus, “I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.  I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not (Mark 9:17-18).”  Though we aren’t told this, I believe the disciples not being able to heal his son was the reason for the dispute.

I can see this father in desperate need of help coming to the disciples with his son.  The scribes, likely nearby, were watching to see what would happen.  The disciples, for their part in this, tried to cast out the demon.  I imagine they laid hands on his son, prayed a prayer, but the boy began to convulse.  

The disciples may have tried again with the boy once again convulsing.  I imagine that the crowd began to murmur and after one more attempt failing, the scribes began to protest.  This moment presents a great illustration between religion and the world today.  Let me share with you the picture that I see illustrated in this moment.

The boy represents many today who are in need of spiritual healing.  Yes, there are many who are hurting in their soul and need help.  The disciples represent a church that should be able to help but is helpless to do so.  The scribes represent those outside the church who love to chide the church for not helping or being unable to help.  This miracle presents a moment for the church to evaluate why it might be struggling to help those in need of spiritual healing.

Prayer for help

“O faithless generation,” Jesus remarked.  Jesus then asked, “How long shall I be with you?  How long shall I bear with you (Mark 9:19)?”   Who did Jesus say this to and why did He say it?  I will provide an answer in a moment.  Let’s first take a look at the miracle.

When they bring the boy to Jesus, we are told that the spirit began to cause the boy to convulse (Mark 9:20).  This is a moment that reminds me of Jesus with the man possessed with many demons.  In Mark 5:1-20, Jesus was in the country of the Gadarenes when he met a man possessed by demons named Legion.  Something pointed out in that meeting is that Legion recognized the authority of Jesus.

I believe the mute spirit convulsed in the boy because it recognized Jesus’ presence.  Jesus asked the dad, “how long has this been happening to him?”  To which the dad responded, “from childhood” (Mark 9:21).  The boy’s dad would go on to speak about how the demon had thrown the boy into fire to burn to death.  The dad also said that the demon would try to drown the boy in water as well.

In this moment, we see the prayer of a desperate father.  The father said to Jesus, “if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us (Mark 9:22).”  The dad is clearly praying for help and compassion from Christ.  However, I want to make note of the “if You can do anything” in this prayer.  Do you see any issue with the dad saying to Jesus “if You can do anything”?

The reason I point out the “if” in this prayer is because of Jesus’ next statement to the man.  Jesus said  to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).”  “If you can” shows a bit of doubt in the power of what God can do.  In fact, “if You can” suggests that God might not be able to do something at all. 

Was Jesus demanding this father to have faith in Him?  I don’t think so.  I do believe Jesus was checking His faith.  This may have been a moment of healing for the son but this was also a teaching moment for the father.   

I am big on emphasizing how careful we must be in what we say in our prayers.  If you have picked up the habit of saying the phrase “if you can” in your prayers, stop it today.  As James said, “ask in faith, with no doubting.”  Those who even hint at God being unable should not expect God to do anything for them (Jas. 1:6-7).

A cry of faith

Scripture shows us that the father cried out with tears running down his face, “Lord I believe; Help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)!”  Those that have a heart of doubt should cry this out often!  “Help my unbelief” is such a powerful prayer!

So, this cry of faith, to me, was also a part of this father’s prayer.  In fact, Jesus’ speaking to the man is an important part of prayer that many of us don’t realize is there.  Let me explain what I mean by this.

Many times I have been praying and while I pray, the Spirit will whisper words into my heart.  Has this ever happened to you?  I have been praying on something and then the next thing you know, I’m in the middle of a conversation with the Spirit.  The Spirit will ask me questions and even make me begin to think and respond to Him in my prayers.  Some would say I’m just talking to myself but prayer really is a line of communication with the Lord!

I have found that when I’m talking to the Lord in this manner in my prayers, God is teaching me.  When the Lord is teaching me in this manner, He’s doing it to uplift me.  God will train you in prayers!  By the time you’re done with these types of prayers, you’ll leave feeling stronger than you did before.

The Power of Faith

Our attention is now turned towards Jesus and the demon possessed boy.  Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and commanded it to come out of the boy and enter him no more (Mark 9:25-26).  Jesus, I want you to understand, commanded with authority over the demon.  Jesus rebuked the demon, meaning that He disproved of the demon’s actions.  Again, the rebuke and command speaks to the authority of Jesus.

The demon cried out, caused the boy to convulse, again, but this time around the demon came out the boy.  The boy’s body went lifeless for a moment as many began to think the boy died.  However, Jesus took the boy by hand and the boy arose (Mark 9:27).

We will see another teaching moment in our lesson through a question from the disciples.  The disciples asked Jesus, “Why could we not cast it out (Mark 9:28)?”  Jesus answered, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).”  

Now, this is an interesting answer from Jesus, right?  What did He mean by this?  Prayer, as we have seen, is our line of communication with the Lord.  When we ask of the Lord, we must ask without doubting.  Now, what about fasting?  Why did Jesus include fasting?

Fasting might be something that many of us don’t do.  When we think of fasting, we consider a method of going without food, or certain things, for a period of time.  Lent, for example, has become very commercialized in society for the wrong reason.  Many people try to use fasting to prove they can go without something for a certain period of time.

However, when we look at scripture, when one fasted, they did so to meditate on God.  Fasting is supposed to be done for one to focus on the Lord and draw closer to Him in fellowship.  The hope and goal of fasting is for an increase in one’s faith in the Lord.  Jesus’ answer to the disciples as to why they couldn’t heal the boy points to their faith.  This is why Jesus had said earlier, “O faithless generation.”

Faith, as I shared throughout February and March requires discipline and obedience.  Faith requires believers to keep their focus on the Lord to walk in His way.  At that point in time, the disciples were still growing in their faith.  With the disciples representing the church, the church should always be evaluating itself.  Yes, we must evaluate ourselves especially when struggling to provide spiritual assistance.

Rather than focusing on healing spirits, today’s church is scattered in many directions.  In areas where the church should be able to help it struggles.  The role of the church is to testify of the Lord by sharing the good news of salvation (Matt. 28:19-20).  The role of the church is to counsel those who error (Jas. 5:19-20).  Yes, the role of the church is to pursue peace by edifying and uplifting others through moving by faith (Rom. 14:19).

Would Jesus say of us today, “O faithless generation”?  The power of faith in the Lord makes all things possible.  So, if we have become distracted from the Lord, we must turn our attention back to Him.  I do believe that many within the church have been distracted and pulled away in the walk of faith.  As you have heard me say recently, it’s time for us to get back on track and stand in true faith.

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