25 Then Jesus reprimanded him, saying, “be quiet and come out of him!” 26 Then, throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit, after screaming in a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they all were amazed, resulting in a discussion among themselves. They are saying “What is this … a new teaching by someone with the right?” “He even commands the unclean spirits, and they obey him!” 28 And then the news about him got out everywhere in the whole surrounding region of Galilee.
disturbing the peace
Jesus’ encounter with the possessed man resulted in a conflict, but he did not shy away from that conflict. He commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, and he did so – albeit kicking and screaming (literally). The result of this conflict over spiritual warfare was not a church split, or people turning away from religion. It led to curiosity about Jesus and what he was teaching. It also led to more publicity, so there would be more and more people reached by the gospel.
I must be careful here, because I do not want to appear as approving all conflict. Peace is generally a good thing, and what God wants in any situation. But sometimes the general calm has to be disturbed in order for God’s excellent message to get through. Making a difference will sometimes mean stirring up trouble.
LORD, give us the wisdom to know when to keep the peace and when to disturb the peace.