It seems like the gospels are full of supernatural events. Like every time we turn the page, we see some evil force coming against Jesus or His disciples. The Gospel of Mark is the easiest to see this in as it’s the fastest-paced Gospel. It’s like a Michael Bay action movie with just explosions everywhere.
The Gospel opens with John the Baptist, telling us that the Lord is coming, then Jesus gets baptized. And then immediately, we see Satan tempting Him (Mark 1:9-13). Then two action scenes later, Jesus is teaching, and a man with an unclean spirit comes and says,
24 “Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 But Jesus rebuked him: “Silence! Come out of him!” 26 After throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him (1:24-26 NET).
Next action scene in 1:34, we see Jesus driving out many demons. Again at 1:39, we see that Jesus did this everywhere He went.
I encourage you to read through quickly and spot how many times Jesus is encountering spiritual warfare throughout His ministry. It looks like it happens all the time. Now, this has brought many people to be skeptics of Jesus and spiritual warfare because we aren’t experiencing the same kind of warfare. However, I offer a different understanding.
In Mark 1:15, Jesus tells us,
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!”
Jesus’ mission in Mark is the bringing of God’s kingdom. This refers to bringing God’s rule in reign back over creation, including mankind. No wonder Satan and other spiritual forces are constantly attacking Jesus, they don’t want God’s kingdom to be restored back on earth. They are rebelling again.
So, when we see Jesus step on the scene, it seems as though the spiritual realm is also leaking out, with demons coming out against Jesus. They’re now battling against God in the flesh. And we see throughout the gospels that Jesus has power and authority over these demons, just like Yahweh because He is Yahweh in the flesh. The supreme one, the one like no other.
When we move forward to the book of Acts, we see a lot of similar spiritual warfare against the apostles. Why? Because they are witnesses of the gospel, that God’s rule and reign are here, and it is now extended from Jerusalem to the world's outermost parts (Acts 1:8).
Instead of just flicking our wrist around when we hear people talk about spiritual warfare because we haven’t seen or experienced it as the Bible talks about it, ask yourself this question: are you extending the kingdom of God where you are? Are you living like Jesus and the apostles bringing the good news of the gospel wherever you are? If so, I bet you will begin to experience the spiritual warfare talked about in the Bible.
The same is true of Hyland Heights. When we are a church that is taking the gospel to our neighborhoods and to the world, spiritual warfare will come against us. This shouldn’t scare us, though. As we read the gospels and go through Acts, we see that Jesus is greater than any spiritual force of evil. We hear in Ephesians 6 that there are ways to fight against spiritual warfare. And there is a body of believers ready to encourage and fight alongside you to bring the kingdom of God here.
For His Glory,