I Know Who You Are

I Know Who You Are

Key Texts: Luke 4:31-37

Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people.  They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

I always find the encounters Jesus had with the spiritual powers of darkness interesting, to say the least.

While some dismiss these powers, saying that in a “pre-scientific” world, it was the only way the gospel writers could explain certain illnesses and so forth – I disagree.

I think the Scripture is clear about the reality of these forces.

I also find it interesting that, as in this episode, it is clear that these forces of evil know – very clearly – who Jesus is. He is, in their own words, “the Holy One of God!” They fear Him, respect His power, and plead with Him that He not destroy them before the “appointed” time.

On the other hand, others – including some of Jesus’s own followers – seem to struggle with understanding who Jesus is, and why He has come among them. Some fail to follow Him until the resurrection finally convinces them. Apparently, all the other evidence,  like the power of His miracles, was inadequate to sway them.

Which brings me to my point.

Do we know who Jesus is – do we respect His authority and power – and give thanks for them?

To put it more bluntly, do we know what the demonic has always known?

Or is Jesus’s identity still an open question in our minds and hearts?

I hope that question, for you, is settled once and for all.

Jesus is who He says He is – the “Holy One of God.”

Even the demons know that.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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