In order to establish a timeline of events at the beginning of His ministry it is necessary to begin with
the baptism of Jesus. It is noteworthy to see how soon after Jesus began His ministry He was
confronted with the devil and the demons. Then we can continue through the ministry of Jesus in a
more or less chronological order, looking at all of the stories where He ministered to people with
..9 And in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised by John at the
10 And immediately coming up from the water, He saw the heavens divide, and the Spirit as a dove
coming down upon Him.
11 And a voice came out of the heavens, “You are My Son (the Beloved) in whom I did delight”.
The baptism of Jesus that is recorded here was not for repentance from sin. There were many
reasons for a Jew to undergo baptism. Before any individual entered into service to G-d he was
baptised to remove uncleanness and as an act of ordination. So for Jesus this act was an ordination
into His ministry. The Scripture says that immediately following His baptism, the Holy Spirit came
upon Jesus, in a second type of baptism, a baptism from above.
The results of this double baptism are recorded in the verses that immediately follow.
12 And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
13 And He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by the Adversary. And He was with the wildanimals,
128 and the messengers ministered to Him.
Immediately after His baptism Jesus encounters Satan. While it is true that being baptised in water
and in the Holy Spirit protect you from your old life, these acts also introduce you to the supernatural
realm. After your baptism G-d begins the process of testing and maturing you. These tests necessitate
that you encounter spiritual opposition, just as Jesus did, He is our example.
Many years ago a Baptist minister received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and started speaking in
tongues. The minister’s father was also a Baptist minister, but of the old type, and he did not believe
in the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. But the father said something very out of the
ordinary to his son. He said, “Now son, you’ve entered into the spiritual realm, the devil’s been there
for thousands of years”. 129 I think it was a very wise statement.
14 And after John was delivering up, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of G-d.
15 And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of G-d has come, repent and believe in the
In His very first sermon Jesus called for the covenant people of Israel to repent and believe in the
good news of the Kingdom of G-d. Remember, Jesus was not preaching to heathen idol-worshippers,
but to people whose ancestors had worshipped the true G-d for thousands of years. As we can see
from this next story, when you start preaching about the Kingdom of G-d, you upset the devil and
come into conflict with the Kingdom of Satan.
21 And they go to Capernaum. And on Shavuoth 130 (after going into the synagogue) He was
22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as having authority, and
not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man in an unclean spirit, and he cried out,
24 saying, “What is between us and to you, Jesus the Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us? I
know who You are – the Holy One of G-d”.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silenced, and come out of him”.
26 And the unclean spirit convulsed him, and crying with a great voice, came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, so as to reason among themselves saying, “What is this? What new
teaching is this? For with authority also the unclean spirits He commands and they obey Him!”
28 And His fame spread immediately to all the region round about Galilee.
This is the first record of Jesus teaching in a synagogue after His baptism. The Greek text tells us
that the story takes place during the Feast of Weeks, which leads up to Pentecost. So this story takes
place just before the first Pentecost in the ministry of Jesus. This very important piece of information
that is stated in the Greek text somehow does not get translated into most Bibles. During the period
before Pentecost the Jews prepared themselves to meet G-d. On the very first Pentecost in the
Hebrew Scriptures, 131 G-d came to meet with His people. Therefore every year during the Feast of
Weeks we Jews prepare ourselves to meet with G-d, and more people attend the synagogues at this
time of the year than would ordinarily be there.
That was also the case in Jesus’ day. Like the other people who were assembled in the synagogue,
the man with the demon, was in a covenant relationship with G-d, and behaved in a normal and
respectable way. Then the demon that had remained quietly in the man for years suddenly became
noisy. The reason the demon was stirred up was that now Jesus, the authoritative representative of the
Kingdom of G-d, was present. Ordinarily demons would not want to reveal their presence. But the
demon in the man became agitated and spoke out of the man. A demon does not have its own vocal
chords, so it had to use the voice of the man. Jesus commanded the demon to be quiet, and come out of
the man. But the demon shouted loudly and convulsed the man before coming out him.
Notice that at first the demon spoke in the plural form asking Jesus, “What is between us and to
you?” The demon was not just referring to himself, but to the entire demonic realm. The demon was
aware of the existence of other demons (it is not clear whether the other demons were within the man,
within the congregation, or maybe within the nation). Furthermore, the demon feared that ultimately it
would be destroyed along with all the other demons, and was fearful that the time of destruction had
come. This tells us that demons have knowledge about the future and about the prophecies, but they do
not have a more complete knowledge than we can have if we study the Scriptures.
Then the demon refers to itself in the singular form saying, “I know who you are”. At this point no
one in Israel, not even His disciples, realised exactly who Jesus was. So this demon knew something
three years before the disciples did. That was not natural knowledge, it was supernatural knowledge.
The demon is not stating that he knows that Jesus is the Son of G-d. The demon calls Jesus the Holy
One of G-d. In the Hebrew Scriptures the term Holy One of G-d is used of Aaron as the High Priest,
132 and of Elisha as a prophet. 133 So the demon was saying, “I know you have the anointing of G-d
upon you”. The demons were first to recognise the anointing on Jesus. Therefore we know that
demons can recognise the anointing of G-d on a person.
Jesus commanded the demon to be quiet and to come out of the man. Jesus was not forbidding the
demon from speaking, but from revealing His identity. The Bible says that the demon convulsed the
man and cried with a loud voice as he came out. If a person is convulsing, it can last for at least a few
seconds. So we know that the demon did not leave the man immediately. I often hear Believers say,
“The demon has to instantly obey me!” If a demon did not instantly obey Jesus, why should it instantly
obey you? We need to read the Scriptures carefully. The perception may be that the demon left the
man immediately after Jesus commanded it to. But the text very clearly indicates this is not the case.
The text tells us that before this event took place Jesus was teaching the people, which is a very
important statement. It was His teaching about the Kingdom of G-d that showed the Jews that Jesus
was different from the other rabbis of His day, and it was this teaching about the Kingdom that upset
the demon. The Kingdom of Satan opposes the message of the Kingdom of G-d, perhaps that is why
today we hear so little preaching about the Kingdom.
31 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching them on Shavuoth.
32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word 134 was with authority.
33 And in the synagogue was a man having a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a
34 “What is between us and to you, Jesus, Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us? I know who
You are – the Holy One of G-d”.
35 And Jesus rebukes him saying, “Be quiet and come out of him”. And throwing him into the
middle of the synagogue, the demon came out of him, not harming him.
36 And amazement came upon all. And they were conferring together saying, “What is this word,
that with authority and miraculous-power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out?”
37 And a noise about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
Here is the same story that we read in Mark chapter one. But I want to point out one very small
piece of information that Luke gives us which illustrates out how accurate the Bible is. In verse 31 it
says that Jesus came down from Capernaum to Galilee. Nazareth, where Jesus had been, is 400
metres above sea level, while Capernaum is about 200 metres below sea level. So you travel
downhill from Nazareth to Capernaum. The importance of the inclusion of the word down is that
every word of the Bible is true, you can trust it completely. So if you can trust the Bible to mean down
when it says down, then you can trust the accuracy of the Bible when it says that Jesus commanded the
demon to be quiet, but the demon cried out. Every word in the Bible can be examined to give us
Mark said this man had an unclean spirit. But Luke says he had the spirit of an unclean demon. Let
me point out again, they are synonymous terms. But neither statement implies that the demon had or
owned the man. The man had a demon in him, but the demon was not the owner of the man. The man
was in a covenant relationship with G-d and G-d owned the man.
Luke tells us that the demon threw the man down in the middle of the synagogue. Demons have the
power, under certain circumstances, to make people behave in an unplanned or involuntary manner.
Most of the time the man was in control of his body, but at that moment the demon had taken control of
him. Sometimes demons remain quietly in people for a very long time, but when the right message
comes along with the right authority, the demons get upset.
Luke also tells us that although Jesus had authority, it was His miraculous-power that caused the
demon to leave. We will return to this idea later, but this is one of the many places in the Gospels
where we are told that casting out a demon is a miracle.
Like Mark, Luke tells us that it was the teaching of Jesus that caused the demon to react.
Ordinarily demons can be present in a synagogue or church and not be disturbed by what happens
there. But the demons will become agitated when they are threatened by the teaching that comes with
the authority of the Kingdom of G-d.
In verse 34 the demon acknowledged that Jesus was the Holy One and asked if He had come to
destroy him. But notice that Jesus did not respond by commanding the demon to go to hell or even to
leave the synagogue. Jesus simply commanded the demon to leave the man.
Verse 35 says that Jesus literally rebuked the demon. This is an important statement because Jesus
always rebuked the evil spirits in people, not the people themselves. Jesus did not rebuke the man for
whatever he did to allow the demon to enter him. The rebuke is directed towards the demon.
Finally Luke tells us that the people were so impressed by Jesus’ ministry that they told everyone
in the region what had happened. Luke uses this story to set the theme for the stories that follow, each
story involves how Jesus dealt with a demon.
38 And rising from the synagogue, Jesus entered the house of Simon. And Simon’s mother-in-law
was pressed by a high fever. And they asked Him about her.
39 And standing over her He rebuked the fever and it left her. And immediately she arose and was
After teaching in the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon Peter, whose mother-in-law was
pressed or seized by a fever. Jesus treated the fever the same way that He treated the demon in the
previous story, He rebuked the fever. You cannot rebuke something that is not an entity. You cannot
rebuke something that cannot respond to you. So Jesus treated the fever as an entity – as a demon.
Verse 38 indicates that Jesus was sitting down during the time he taught in the synagogue, and
when He cast the demon out of the man there. However, when Jesus was ministering in Peter’s home,
He was clearly standing. The implication is that a person does not need to assume an official posture
when they minister deliverance. Your authority over demons is the same whether you are standing or
sitting. What is important is that you are operating with the authority and miraculous-power of G-d.
40 Yet at the setting of the sun, all, as many as who had sick with various diseases, brought them to
Him. And He, placing His hand on each of them, heals them.
41 And demons came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of G-d”. And
rebuking them He did not let them speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
The people had to wait until the end of the Sabbath before they brought their sick folk to Jesus
because it was a High Sabbath (meaning it was not an ordinary Sabbath, but one that fell during a
feast; in this case it was the feast of Shavuoth). 135 Many of the sick would have had to be carried to
Jesus, and carrying something on any Sabbath is forbidden. Furthermore, Luke mentions earlier that
the news about Jesus had spread into the regions around about Capernaum. People who lived outside
of Capernaum could not walk to the city during the Sabbath, as this would exceed the permitted
distance one is allowed to travel on the Sabbath.
Jesus laid His hands on everyone who was sick, and He made no distinction between sickness
that was caused by a demon or had a physical cause. There is no reason to fear laying your hands on
someone who has demonic problems because you cannot receive a demon by touching a person.
Demons are not at liberty to enter people at will. It is G-d who sends demons to people who are
involved in sin, wickedness or rebellion, or because they are under a curse.
The demons that Jesus confronted declared that He was the Messiah and the Son of G-d. The
disciples of Jesus would not realise this for another three years. This type of spiritual awareness
demonstrated by demons shows us that they are spirit beings. Demons are real, not imaged, entities.
The demons, as spirit beings, have contact with the spiritual realm and receive information by
supernatural means. The evil spirits acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of G-d.
This proves that merely knowing and confessing Jesus to be the Messiah and the Son of G-d does not
indicate that one is saved. Otherwise the devil and all the demons would be saved.
Each of these three stories in the Gospel of Luke is linked together by the use of the word rebuke.
In the first and the third stories there can be no doubt that Jesus is rebuking a demon, so we have to
conclude that in the second story Jesus is also rebuking a demon in the mother-in-law of Peter. This is
confirmed by the fact that in the second and third story Jesus is rebuking sickness, but the third story
tells us that when Jesus rebuked the sickness, the people were delivered of demons.
One element that is absent from the second and third stories is the idea that people had to hear the
teaching of Jesus, or acknowledge the Kingdom of G-d before they could get delivered from demons.
Peter’s mother-in-law was under his authority because she was living in his home. Peter, who was the
one responsible for bringing Jesus’ attention to the sickness of his mother-in-law, had heard the
teaching of Jesus, which was the important factor in the situation.
Luke chapter four gives us no detail about the sick people who were brought to Jesus, but we can
surmise that they had not heard Jesus teach in the synagogue. So we can say that not everyone who
needs deliverance is required to hear the teaching about the Kingdom of G-d. But there may be a
prerequisite that a person, who is spiritually responsible for someone needing deliverance, should
have heard the teaching about the Kingdom.
However, that there are no absolutes when it comes to the ministry of deliverance from demons.
There are no guaranteed formulae for success. If there were you would not need to listen to the Holy
Spirit. If you are not listening to the Holy Spirit, it is a sin. Christians like formulas and will follow
them, even if they get the desired results only 1% of the time. That is how some people approach
prayer. They say, “Well I prayed for somebody once in this manner and they got healed, so I’ll pray
this way from now on”. Or, “I heard somebody pray for a person this way so that’s the way I will
pray”. But that is not how G-d wants us to operate. He wants us to listen to and follow the directions
of the Holy Spirit.
This is a good point at which to remind you why the ministry of casting out of demons is so
important in the New Testament. We can find examples of all of the miracles of Jesus’ ministry in the
Old Testament, except one, casting out demons. Just to cite some examples of the supernatural
ministry of Jesus that also occur in the Old Testament, let us look at four stories in the Hebrew
Exodus 14.21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and ADONAI caused the sea to
go by a strong east wind all the night, and he makes the sea to be drained and the waters split.
Moses had authority over the wind and the waves when he parted the Red Sea. Jesus also had
authority over the winds and the waves when He calmed the Sea of Galilee.
2 Kings 4.42-44 136
42 And a man came from Baal Shalishah, and brought to the man of G-d bread of the first fruits
(twenty barley loaves and produce of his harvest). And he said, “Give to the people, and they shall
43 And his servant said to him, “What? Do I set this before a hundred men?” And he said, “Give to
the people, and they shall eat. For this says ADONAI, ‘Eat, and have leftovers’”.
44 And he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over according to the word of
Elisha multiplied 20 loaves of bread to feed 100 men, with an abundance of bread left over. Jesus
performed the same miracle on two occasions: the first time feeding 5,000 men, plus women and
children; then 4,000 men, plus women and children. Interestingly we are told that the story of Elisha
takes place after the barley harvest. The feast of Passover takes place on the fourteenth day of the
month that follows the barley harvest. The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 takes place just before
2 Kings 5.10 137 And Elisha sent a messenger to him to say, “Go, wash yourself seven times in
the Jordan, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean”.
Elisha was able to cleanse Naaman of leprosy. There are several stories in the Gospels where
Jesus cleansed lepers.
2 Kings 13.21 138 And it came to pass that they are burying a man. And they saw a raiding
party. And they fling the man into the tomb of Elisha. And the man goes and touches the bones of
Elisha. And he lives and raises onto his feet.
Coming into contact with Elisha’s bones resurrected a dead man. Jesus also raised people from
But there is one miracle that Jesus performed that we do not find in the Hebrew Scriptures, the
miracle of casting out demons. Although David was able to influence an evil spirit to leave King Saul
temporarily, the spirit was not cast out and it would return to Saul.
If you can heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and raise the dead, perhaps you are a disciple of
Moses. What proves that you are a disciple of Jesus is that you can successfully cast out demons. I
spent many years attending synagogues and I have seen real healings and miracles take place in the
synagogues and I must say that the synagogues have a higher standard than the churches seem to have.
The synagogues require that if an individual claims to have been healed, he must obtain a medical
certificate from a doctor that substantiates the claim. That is a high standard. Furthermore, I have
heard words of wisdom and words of knowledge given in the synagogues that were absolutely
correct. I know of rabbis who have given thousands of accurate words of wisdom and words of
knowledge. They outdo the Charismatics. But it is the ability to cast out demons that makes the
disciples of Jesus different. That’s why this ministry is so very important.
23 And He was going about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of
the Kingdom, and healing every disease, and every malady among the people.
24 And His fame went forth to all Syria. And they brought to Him all having ailments (tormented
with various sicknesses and pains), and demoniacs, and lunatics, and paralytics. And He healed
Again we see that Jesus was teaching in the synagogues. It was His teaching about the Kingdom of
G-d that motivated the people to bring to Him all those who were in need of help. Because of this the
fame of Jesus spread rapidly. The text tells us that people with every type of illness were brought to
Him. Verse 25 contains a specific list of the types of illnesses that the people were suffering from. In
the first group are those who were tormented with various sicknesses and pains. The fact that it says
these people were tormented should tell us that they were under the influence of demons. Demons
torment people. The next group were people called demoniacs, people who had demons. Then there
were lunatics, which is specifically referring to people with demonic problems. Last mentioned are
the people who were paralysed, which is the only classification that we do not immediately associate
with demonic activity. However, since all the people previously listed had demonic problems, we are
probably meant to understand that the paralytics were also suffering because of demons. So every
form of disease and illness can come from either a natural or a demonic source. Although it is
possible for a demon to cause sickness, not every sickness is caused by a demon. When you pray for a
sick person, you need to know whether or not the sickness is caused by a demon. You cannot heal a
demon and you cannot cast out a sickness, therefore you need to know what you are dealing with.
..9 And He spoke to His disciples that a small-boat may wait on Him because of the crowd, lest
they constrict Him.
10 For He did heal many so that they threw themselves on Him, that whoever had plagues should
11 And the unclean spirits, when they saw Him, would fall before Him, and cry out saying, “You
are the Son of G-d.”
12 And many times He rebuked them that they might not make Him known.
Jesus did not need the little boat as a means of escaping from the people, but so that He could
continue to minister to them from the boat. Jesus was in danger of being smothered by the eager
crowd of people who wanted to touch Him so that they could be healed and delivered.
In Exodus chapters 7-11 the Hebrew word that is used for the plagues that G-d sent upon Egypt
means touch. 139 It was the touch of G-d that caused the plagues. So the Jews surmised that a second
touch from G-d could set them free from their plagues.
The Greek word used in this verse (that I have translated as plagues in verse ten) literally means
scourging or lashes, 140 which also indicates that the people felt that they were under some sort of
punishment from G-d. Because the people saw that Jesus had the anointing of G-d, they believed that
if He touched them, it was with the touch of G-d. Everyone who touched Jesus got healed.
This story shows us that Jesus was also able to minister healing and deliverance to people
without touching them. Sometimes Jesus laid His hands on people, sometimes He did not. Sometimes
people touched Him in order to get healed and/or delivered, sometimes they did not. Jesus did not
have a formula for how He ministered to people.
Many of the people who came to Jesus for healing had demonic problems. We see incidents
where a person encountering Jesus would fall to the ground. In those cases falling before Him was an
act of worship and submission to Jesus on the part of the person who had the demon. However, the
text indicates that in this story it was the demons that were falling down. We should probably interpret
this to mean that when the demon came out of the person, that individual fell to the ground. This
would coincide with what happened in previous stories.
Again we see that the demons had spiritual awareness, they knew before the people did, that Jesus
was the Son of G-d. The demons did not come to this knowledge by listening to Jesus preach, but by
Verse 12 contains a very interesting statement. We are told that Jesus rebuked 141 the evil spirits so
that they would not reveal His identity. The Greek word that is used appears many times in the New
Testament. The word has a lighter connotation than command and we do not have such a word in
English, so the translators use rebuke, but it is not the right word. The word used in the Greek text
indicates that the person was not affected by Jesus’ command. As an example, in Matthew 16.22 Jesus
said that He was going to Jerusalem to die and Peter rebuked 142 Him. Peter’s rebuke however, had no
effect on Jesus. The Greek word epitimáō means to issue an ineffectual or ignored rebuke. That
means that demons kept on declaring that Jesus was the Son of G-d, even after He had told them not
to. So although Jesus had power and authority over the demons, they did not obey His every word.
Demons by their nature are rebels and you cannot always get a rebel to obey you. Some people who
are involved in the deliverance ministry believe that they can always make the demons obey them, but
it will not happen.
32 And as they are going out, behold they brought to Him a mute demoniac.
33 And the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitude marvelled saying, “this was
never before seen in Israel.”
This story is just two sentences long and does not contain a lot of information. But there are two
facts that need to be noted. The first is the statement that the demon was cast out. The story says that
the demoniac was brought to Jesus, so of course we understand that Jesus cast the demon out, and we
would assume that He must have said something to make it leave. But we are not told whether Jesus
did or did not speak to the demon in this instance. This is actually an important point, because we
will later look at a story of deliverance where Jesus does not say anything to the demon and it leaves.
The second piece of important information is how the crowd responded when Jesus cast the
demon out. What had the people never seen in Israel before? Was it the mute man speaking, a demon
being cast out, or the series of healings and miracles that Matthew had described in the previous
verses? Before this story Matthew chronicles two other healings and miracles. First a girl was raised
from the dead, then two blind men were healed and finally this man is set free from a demon. The
Hebrew Scriptures record many miracles and healings, the people who were present as the ministry
of Jesus had not actually seen those miracles. They might have read about them, but that would not
stop them from marvelling when they personally saw healings and miracles.
We need to be very careful with stories such as this one, because the text does not specify which
act of Jesus the crowd was marvelling over, therefore we must not guess what the people are
referring to. We must not let our own personal experiences change the way that we read the text. Too
often within the context of the ministry of healings, miracles, and deliverance, people will take a
word out of context and make it the key to all situations.
22 Then a demoniac was brought to Him (blind and mute), and He healed him, so that the blind
and mute both spoke and saw.
23 And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, “Is this the Son of David?”
24 But the Pharisees having heard, said, “This one casts out demons, only by Beelzebul, ruler of
25 And knowing their thoughts, He said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined.
And no city or house divided against itself does stand.
26 “And if the Adversary casts out the Adversary, he is divided against himself, how does his
27 “And if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Through this
they shall be your judges.
28 “But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of G-d, then the Kingdom of G-d has already
29 “Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strong and plunder his goods, if he first does
not bind the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathers not with me is scattering”.
The man who was brought to Jesus had two physical afflictions. But Jesus treated the problems as
demoniac in nature. This is one of several stories that illustrate the possible demonic origin of
physical problems. Bear in mind, though, that Jesus did not treat all physical afflictions as demons.
We are not told what Jesus said or did to set the man free from his demonic problem. We do not know
if Jesus rebuked the demon, or laid His hands on the man. If the method Jesus used was important, the
Bible would tell us. But the result of the deliverance from the demon (or demons) was that the man
was able to see and speak.
The Pharisees acknowledged that there were two kingdoms: the Kingdom of G-d and the Kingdom
of Satan. There are Christians who are not aware of this fact. The Jews also knew that there was a
Satan, that demons existed and that they could enter into people. They also believed that the Son of
David (the Messiah) would exercise the authority of the Kingdom of G-d over the demonic realm.
Jesus declared that the ministry of deliverance from demons proves that the Kingdom of G-d has
arrived and that it is more powerful than the kingdom of Satan. As believers we are responsible to go
and preach the gospel to the world. But Jesus said the gospel is the gospel of the Kingdom and the
proof that the Kingdom of G-d has come is the ministry of deliverance. If you are preaching the right
gospel, you must also cast out demons because that is the proof that you have the gospel.
In order to establish a timeline of events at the beginning of His ministry it is necessary to begin with