O’ VICTORY IN JESUS
Do we expect victory over the evil in our lives and the lives of others? What good do we expect the kingdom of heaven to do against the evil in our world? The answers to these questions have always held treasure for the Lord’s church. Matthew’s gospel traces Jesus’ genealogy from Abraham (Matt 1:1), the father of the Hebrew nation (Gen 14:13; 17:19; Gal 3:16), and Israel’s great king David (Matt 1:6) to whom God had promised one of his descendants would rule for God’s people forever (2 Sam 7:12–16; Luke 1:32–33). Matthew thus declares to the early Jewish church that the Messiah, the King, of the kingdom of heaven is the direct result of God’s promises to His covenant people of old.
Matthew gives a narrative to the early church to remind them of King Jesus’ power over evil.
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region (Matt 8:28–34 NIV).
Luke 8 and Mark 5 give us a more detailed account about one of the two men that were demon possessed in Matthew 8 and his healing/restoration and mission to go and tell others what Jesus had power to do (Mark 5:19; Luke 8:39). So, when we face evil in our own lives or the lives of others, we will find treasure in the fact that Jesus still has the power to reign supremely over evil. There is no evil so powerful that Christ cannot abolish it in our lives, and we can be sure and certain of this (Rom 10:17; Heb 11:1). This great victory over evil is ours in Christ (Eph 1:19–23; Col 1:13)!
What can we do about evil? We can remind ourselves and tell others about our friend Jesus, and we can pray for our church what Paul requested of the Thessalonians – And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one (2 Thess 3:2–3).