God desires for His children to walk in health. Unfortunately, there is a lot of sickness in the world. Why do people get sick? There are three causes of sickness. Disease can be attributed to living in a sinful world because of the fall of Adam and Eve, to the work of Satan, and to natural causes. Let’s examine each of these.
The work of Satan causes disease
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10). Satan wants to steal your health, kill your body, and destroy your life. The devil is the author of disease and he purposely invented the cruelest, most inhumane sickness he could imagine to help him accomplish his evil schemes.
Jesus definitely attributed sickness to Satan. In fact, he used precisely the same cutting word, “epitimao,” to rebuke both demons (Luke 4:35) and sickness (Luke 4:39). Jesus knew both came from the same place, the pits of hell.
Some diseases are directly caused by demonic possession. One day a crowd brought Jesus a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute. Jesus threw out the demon and completely healed him so he could both talk and see (Matthew 12:22).
The last time I cleaned out my refrigerator, I discovered a dish of food on the bottom shelf right at the back. It had been there so long that I was not able to remember what it was so I cracked open the lid. Immediately an awful stench filled the room. The food was rotten. As soon as I smelled the bad food, I threw it away. Then I took the trash bag out of the trash can and tossed it outside. The entire time I had a look of disgusted revulsion on my face. This is how Jesus must have felt when He threw out demons. When something smells bad, you do not tolerate its presence.
Not every sickness is a direct result of a demon, but in the Bible we do see Satan’s forces causing fevers, muteness, deafness, blindness, and even epilepsy. The good news is that Jesus came to destroy, ruin, and demolish the works of the devil. “…the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).
When the Gospel writers told about Jesus casting out demons, they used the word ekballo to describe the process. This is a compound word made up of the word ek meaning “out” and ballo meaning “to throw” (ballo is where we get the word “ball”). When these two words are combined, they mean “to throw out” or “to violently cast out.” Jesus violently threw out the demons.
When I think of Jesus “throwing out” demons, I imagine a baseball game with Jesus as the pitcher. Every time a demon steps up to home plate hoping to hit the ball out of the ballpark, I see Jesus throwing the demon out. One strike, two strikes, three strikes, and the demon is out of there!
When he goes back to his bench, the demon complains to the devil, “Coach, we’re never going to win this ball game, that guy pitches way too fast.”
Satan glares at the demon, “Don’t make excuses. I hit the ball once, and it went a long, long way.”
The demon mumbles under his breath, “Yeah, you thought you had a home run, but on the third day, His Father caught the ball, and you were out permanently.”
In that great game, Jesus defeated every demonic power and authority and made a public spectacle of them as He triumphed over them at the cross (Colossians 2:15). When Jesus left for heaven, He called in his twelve relief pitchers and gave them the secret to His pitching record. Now every believer has the ability to cast out demons the same way Jesus did! He said, “…In my name they will drive out demons…” (Mark 16:17).
Satan has been defeated, his power is destroyed, and Jesus has won the ball game! Now all we need to do is remind the devil of the score.
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