I. "THAT WORD"
A. This takes us back to the previous verse, "The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ:"
B. That word you know because it was published throughout all Judea.
1. Jesus was a well-known figure.
2. On the road to Emmaus when Jesus joined himself to the two disciples and asked them why they seemed so sad as they were walking along the path, they responded, "Are you the only stranger who does not know the things that happened in the last few days?"
3. When Paul appeared before King Agrippa as he was relating the facts about Jesus he said;
For the king knows of the things, I speak for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
C. The ministry of Jesus began in Galilee, after His baptism by John.
II. THIS IS THE WORD THAT WAS PUBLISHED THROUGHOUT ALL JUDEA:
A. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.
1. This anointing was promised in the Old Testament:
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
2. The Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
3. Jesus was anointed and led by the Spirit.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
4. John tells us:
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him].
5. Finally we read in the book of Hebrews:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
B."Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil."
1. Matthew tells us:
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with [his] word, and healed all that were sick:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare [our] sicknesses.
2. Note the words (oppressed) by the devil.
a. The Bible makes a distinction between being possessed by the devil and being oppressed by the devil.
b. Demon possession is when that demon has taken over the control of a person's body.
c. This can be manifested in many different ways.
1. Giving the person the ability to tell fortunes.
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
2. Physical manifestations.
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
3. Luke tells us of a lady who was bent over.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up [herself].
And when Jesus saw her, he called [her to him], and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
And he laid [his] hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
The Lord then answered him, and said, [Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering?
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
4. Matthew gives an interesting case of a boy.
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a [certain] man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
5. There is the case of the man at Gadera.
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, [thou] Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, [thou] unclean spirit.
3. I am convinced that no born-again child of God can be possessed by a demon.
a. There is not a single example in the scriptures of their casting demons out of believers.
b. Not a single hint that a believer could be possessed.
c. The opposite is true.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
4. Demonic oppression is another thing. It would appear that was oppressed by an evil spirit.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (Buffeting is something from without not from within.)
a. I believe that Satan can oppress us in our thoughts.
b. Abnormal fears, deep depression, anxiety, can all result from satanic oppression.
III. THIS IS THE EXPLANATION PETER GAVE AS TO HOW JESUS WAS ABLE TO HEAL THOSE WHO WERE OPPRESSED BY THE DEVIL. "FOR GOD WAS WITH HIM."
A. When Nicodemus came to Jesus at night he said to Him.
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
B. Jesus constantly affirmed that His works were those of the Father.
But I have greater witness than [that] of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father [is] in me, and I in him.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.