Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mark 1: 21-28
The devil knew that Jesus was the Holy One and proclaimed it loud, but that did not save the devil. Jesus mercilessly drove him out of the possessed man.
If believing and proclaiming that Jesus is God is enough for salvation, the devil is qualified. But that is not the case. It is not enough for anyone to believe that Jesus is the true God. Once your deeds and attitudes correspond to your belief and knowledge, you shall be qualified for salvation. Although the devil knows who Jesus is, he sticks to his agenda. Jesus has a totally different agenda. Sticking to the agenda of Jesus is salvation.
Freedom from all sorts of slavery is the agenda of Jesus. Enslaving man to sin is the agenda of the devil.
One of the many significant differences between Jesus and the devil is that Jesus always wants to set man free, while the devil always tries to control and enslave man. The Devil invites one to sin so that one remains a slave to sin. The devil tries his best to make sin appear pleasing, popular, and rewarding. Sin is even presented as an expression of freedom. The Devil presents sin as a matter of personal choice.
Jesus started His mission by proclaiming freedom to those who are under bondage. He forgave sins and liberated them from their bondage to sin. To prove that He had authority over sin, He healed the sick and performed many miracles. To prove His authority over death He received death on a cross and came back to life on the third day. Thus, He liberated man from the bondage of death once and for all.
Now it is the hour of reckoning. Slavery and freedom are offered side by side, you have to make a choice. What do you choose?
While making a choice, do not forget that Jesus has absolute authority over sin and the devil. The devil tried to strike a deal with Jesus, but He did not accept the offer. Let us not repeat the mistake of those who tried to have a deal with the devil and ended up a slave of the devil.
Jesus Christ liberates. Only Jesus Christ liberates. He liberated us from our sins by paying the ransom on the cross. Let us resolve to stay with the liberating Jesus always.