patty kirk

patty kirk lying down, getting up, sitting at home, walking down the road doing deuteronomy 6:7

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Here’s how Matthew sums up what Jesus began: “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them” (Matthew 4: 23-24 NIV).

Teaching, preaching the good news, healing.

There are two things to think about that are new for me.

First, the “demon-possessed” are not separated out into their own category and thus seem to be included under the heading of “every disease and sickness among the people.” That makes me a lot more confident in interpreting the demon-possessed as people with epilepsy and mental illness.

Second, news of Jesus spread all over Syria. Syria. I don’t know why this should surprise me. I mean, Jesus spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus. But somehow Syria seems distant from what I generally think of as where people started out believing in Jesus.


  1. A man in one of my small groups has taken it upon himself to vehemently oppose ministries that help Christians who they think are possessed by a demon. I understand his position (but not his vehemence) - once the spirit is living in us then we cannot be also indwelt by a demon. Even so, the Bible tells me that we can be influenced by demons (ex. 1 Chron 21:1) - to what extent, I've often wondered. It also has stories of casting out demons wherein it is easy to assume it is not demons but rather some sort of mental illness. In other stories, however, it is difficult to attribute the description to mental illness - the demons talk to Jesus!

    The bottom line is that the whole concept of demons interacting with and indwelling people is really scary - it is hard teaching and we do not want to accept it. This is an area where we are tempted to think that the Bible has it wrong - someone altered the text or something. It is especially tempting to choose this if I already believe that errors have crept into other areas of the Bible - anything I don’t agree with becomes suspect… I want to rewrite the whole thing to suit my world view or worse, I may just decide that the whole thing is just a bunch of meaningless stories.

    Infinite God! Your teaching IS hard! Who can accept it? But we choose to believe that your words are full of the Spirit and life. Help us believe them. Guard our hearts so that we do not turn back. Help us to always follow you in faith and with trust. You are God! Amen!

  2. I don't have any problem accepting that people were, or are still, possessed by demons. I believe I have encountered demon posssessed people and heard the voices of their demons speaking through them. I have also heard Holy Spirit possessed people and clearly heard the Holy Spirit speaking through them. I don't know whether a nonbelieving person--such as a therapist who might have had considerable experience with what I might view as possessed people--would have interpreted the possession, in either case, as I did.

  3. Yikes! I hope I never encounter a person I know to be demon possessed. My friend and pastor says he has occasional night time visitations by demonic forces. I am glad I am under the radar - then again, maybe God would prefer I was more of a target. Hmmm...