The man in the synagogue writhed and contorted as if a thousand snakes slithered beneath his skin. With eyes rolling back in his head, a guttural voice—not his own—growled as if about to attack. Those nearest, gasped in horror, backing away. From among the crowd, a figure stepped forward, his eyes blazing as though fired by a bolt of lightning.
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
“Be quiet!” At Jesus’ words, the rafters of the synagogue seemed to quake.
Lips pulled back, gums exposed, the spirit replied in a rasping hiss, “I know who you are—The Holy One of God!”
“I SAY COME OUT OF HIM!”
Unleashing a howl like that of the wolf, the spirit thrashed about inside the man, driving the victim to his knees. With a final, violent convulsion, the unclean spirit escaped the man’s body, passing over his lips with a wheezing gasp. Face down on dirt flooring, panting, the man—now in his right mind—lifted his eyes and looked at Jesus, seeing him at last for who he really was: the Son of God.
“I am Jesus, the one who now speaks with you. As I cast out the evil spirit in that man in the synagogue, will you allow me to expel those unclean spirits that keep you bound by the enemy? My words carry the authority of my Father and this day we say to you, be clean!” — Jesus