When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ. (Luke 4:40-41)
The Demons Knew He Was The Christ
There was nothing that limited the power of Jesus as the Holy Spirit healed every disease of man, gave life to dead bodies again, overcame the forces of nature and to show the full authority of the reach of Jesus, subdued beings in the spirit world called demons. Jesus had unlimited power. No one came to Jesus and left without healing if it was His will. Lepers were cured of certain death. The lame walked, the blind had their eyes opened and those near death were restored whole again. Lazarus was brought from the grave after four days and the son of a woman from Nain received the grace of God and was alive again. The power of Jesus over demons was a most remarkable example of the divine but it created a problem. These hosts of wickedness knew who Jesus the man really was and often blurted out that He was the Christ, the Son of God. Peter had confessed Jesus to be the Christ and later the disciples would tell Jesus they had come to believe that He was the Christ but demons knew beyond any shadow of a doubt the fleshly robe of Jesus they beheld had been God before He became a man. In the form of man, the demons worshiped Jesus as Christ, the Messiah, God, and the Divine. What became a problem was their declaration and Jesus rebuked them for saying such in front of men. He refused to allow them to testify on His behalf although they knew more than men that Jesus was Christ. The implications were enormous. There was nothing false about what they said but who they were condemned them. God allowed men to be possessed with evil spirits and demons during the sojourn of His Son and the early church because there was a higher power to cast them out. He would not allow them to become a testimony of His Son’s deity.
The demons knew Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, Son of God. They had known Him before the foundation of the world and knew His power and authority came from the Father. James would later write that demons believed and they trembled at the knowledge Jesus was the Christ. There was no doubt on the part of the minions of Satan to know the eternal power of Jesus Christ. When they were cast out of a man they would proclaim Jesus to be the Christ because they had to submit to Him. With only words to use against them, Jesus would speak and cast them out of their host and they would not and could not resist Him. Even the demon called Legion submitted to the word of Christ. Like his wicked underlings, Satan was submissive to the rule of Jesus. Recognizing Jesus as the Christ was not merely an exercise in words but an unwillingness to accept the rule of Christ with no choice but to obey. The demons knew Jesus was the Christ and submitted to His word but they refused to accept His rule. Understanding the nature of the demons and their belief in Jesus being the Christ, men realize there must be something more than simply believing Jesus is the Christ. Confessing Jesus is the Christ will not save any more than it did the demons in the days of Jesus. They proclaimed Him to be the Christ but were forbidden to do so because they were evil. Ironically, one of the greatest tools of Satan today is to convince men the only thing they have to do to be saved is to accept Christ as their personal Savior and confess His name. The demons accepted Christ as the Son of God because they knew without any shadow of a doubt that He truly was the Son of God. They confessed His name but were rebuked and chastised for saying so. Salvation did not come from belief only or confession only. The demons refused to do the will of the Father and were condemned for it even though they knew Jesus was the Christ and on occasion confessed the same.
Jesus rebuked and forbade the demons from declaring His name even though they knew who He was. Can a man be saved if he confesses Christ as the Son of God and does not obey the will of the Father? Is there salvation for one who believes that Jesus is the Christ and refuses to yield to the word of God? The demons show that while they had greater knowledge than any man Jesus was the Christ the Son of God and they were correct in their belief that salvation does not come by the singular act of belief. Often people talk about the moment they “got saved” referring to the moment they accepted Christ in their hearts believing He was the Christ. The father of lies continues to weave this web of deceit in the hearts of those who fail to follow the will of the Father in obedience. Demons believed Jesus was the Christ but that did not save them. Belief alone will never save. Jesus taught in the sermon on the mountain that salvation would only come by doing the will of the Father. In the final judgment, there will be many who profess His name and declare all the things they did in the name of Jesus but to no avail. The Lord will answer them that He never knew them. How can this be? Let the lesson sink deeply in honest hearts: the demons believed and they confessed Jesus as the Son of God but they were condemned. When a man believes salvation is nothing more than belief and confessing Jesus as Christ he is doing exactly what the demons had done and nothing more. The end will be the same. Not everyone who calls Jesus Lord will be saved but those who do the will of the Father.