Jesus Expels An Unclean Spirit From A Man In The Synagogue At Capernaum

21 Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum. On the Sabbath day He went to the Synagogue and began to teach.

22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught like a person who had authority, not like the Scribes/ teachers of the Law.

23 Just then, a man was there in the Synagogue, who had an unclean spirit in him. He shouted,

24 "Jesus of Nazareth! What do you want with us? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are—God's Holy One!"

25 Jesus commanded the unclean spirit, "Be quiet! Come out of the man!" 26 The unclean spirit shook the man violently, gave a loud cry, and then came out of him.

27 The people were amazed and asked each other,

“What is this? This man is teaching something new, and with authority. He even gives commands to unclean spirits, and they obey him."

OBSERVATION     Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?


21 Jesus [and his disciples] went to Capernaum

On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue and began to teach

His teaching amazed people [because he taught with authority, not like the teachers of the Law]

A man with an unclean spirit in him shouted out “Jesus of Nazareth! Have you come to destroy us? I know you are God’s Holy One”

Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to be quiet and to come out of the man

The unclean spirit obeyed Jesus’ command and came out

The people are amazed and say Jesus’ teaching is new/novel and authoritative He gives commands to unclean spirits and they obey him.


A man in the Synagogue is described as being “in an unclean spirit”*

He shouted out (a) asked a question and (b) described Jesus’ spiritual identity

* Christians are said to be baptised IN Holy Spirit. This man was [baptised] IN an unholy/unclean spirit


The unclean spirit shouted out Jesus’ name and identity. He asks if he has come to destroy “US” [plural]
The unclean spirit claims to know Jesus’ identity (a) Jesus of Nazareth (b) The Holy One of God

26 In response to Jesus’ command the unclean spirit (a) shook the man (b) gave a loud shout (c) came out of the man


23 The people are amazed at Jesus’ teaching and discuss the incident with one another

[because he taught with authority and not out of commentaries like the teachers of the Law of Moses/Torah

27 The people are so amazed and discuss with one another his fresh teaching (ie lively/not boring) (b) he has authority (c) he commands evil spirits & they obey him

INTERPRETATION: Examining The Meaning Of The Passage

Jesus’ Identity & Character

  • From Nazareth

  • The Holy One of God

  • Teaches with a spiritual authority that marks him as different from the teachers of the Torah

  • His teaching amazes his hearers

  • Demonic spirits recognise who Jesus is

  • Jesus has authority over demonic spiritsJesus is able to expel demonic spirits from demonised individuals

The Demonised Man

Is described as being IN [the grip of] an unclean spirit

The Demonic Spirit

Knows Jesus’ identity ie has supernatural knowledge of who Jesus is

Refers to himself at one point as “Us” ie multiple spirits or personalities

He recognises Jesus has the ability to destroy him/us

He had to obey Jesus’ commands to “Be quiet!” and “Come out”[of the man he was in]

He shook the man, shouted out with a loud voice but came out of the man

The Onlookers/Congregation in the Synagogue

Are amazed at Jesus’ authority in handling the Scriptures

Recognise he has a freshness and authority that distinguishes him from the teachers of the Torah

They discuss with one another what this means

They recognise Jesus has authority over demonic spirits and that they have to obey him


1. Demonic activity can happen in a church/synagogue where Jesus is present

2. Jesus has given all power and authority over demonic spirits to his disciples LUKE 10:17-20

3. Christians filled with the Holy Spirit have Jesus’ authority over all demonic spirits

4. Demons recognise the presence of a Spirit-filled Christian and tremble

5. When demonic spirits seek to disrupt a service/meeting, Spirit-filled Christians, who have God’s authority and the leadership’s permission, should command the demonic spirits in the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ to “Be quiet!” and “Come out!”

6. There may be some form of demonic manifestation (eg throwing the person to the floor, shrieking) but the demonic spirits have to obey a command given in the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ, The Holy One of God, by a Spirit-filled Christian. 


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