What word! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out!” (Luke 4: 31–37)
Jesus, who was proclaimed Son so as to become our brother, was tempted by Satan to act as son of that God that the devil had suggested. Adam listened to the serpent’s proposal and became son of the serpent, with the same deadly poison.
Jesus is the first who listens to the Father’s Word. Because of this, He is the Son, whose Word has the same authority and power as God’s: it is light and truth that dispels darkness and lies.
Every son is equal to the father. The sin of humanity consists in the image that we have of God as father-master. This is why we flee from Him. Since its origins, history is a refusal of God as father, of us as sons and daughters and of the others as brothers and sisters. Jesus came to free us from this lie with His Word of truth that He lived out for thirty years in Nazareth, manifested in baptism, confirmed in the temptations, announced by the word and accomplished on the cross.
Jesus listens to and puts into practice the Father’s will as it is revealed in Scripture. He is and does what the Word says; and He calls us to conversion, to change life.
This is why evil reacts in front of Jesus. Truth disconcerts platitudes. “What is there between you and us?” is a formula aimed at remembering the pact that ties two allies together.
What Jesus does and says is a de-demonization of God; this God doesn’t have the characteristics of the idol – big, fascinating and terrible (see Dan 2: 31). The sign of the Saviour, Christ and Lord, is a little one, wrapped and shivering in a manger. With Jesus, the false image of God comes to an end.
God’s first question to the human being who is fleeing from Him is: “Where are you?” and Adam answers: “I was afraid” (Gen 3: 9ff). The whole Bible is the account of the crazy passion of God who looks for us people. He loves us with an eternal love. He wants to meet us in order to show us that He is different from the one we think He is.
The whole Gospel is an exorcism. Jesus dissolves Satan’s lie that enslaves us in fear. He shows us God’s truth and ours: God is Father who infinitely loves us, and we are His infinitely beloved children.
According to the tradition, Luke was a physician. His Gospel is a logo therapy. As a matter of fact, truth is healed from falsehood, the origin of all evils. Before the Beatitudes, Luke writes that all people were approaching Jesus in order to “listen to him and be healed”. In His word, we touch Him and He touches us inside.
It is a Word with power and authority that heals everybody (see Lk 6: 18ff). Jesus’ presence drives evil out and makes it come out of us: His true condition as Son strikes evil dumb, disclosing its falsehood. Exorcism is the programme of the Gospel and every evangelization.
The word is a seed that generates according to its species. We become what we listen to. If we listen to God, we become children of God, according to His image and likeness: it is love that receives and gives, serves and gives life. If we listen to lies, we lose our identity and become like our idol: it is egoism that steals and owns, enslaves, and gives death.
After the transfiguration, the disciples, in the absence of Jesus, try to continue His action but they didn’t succeed because they are possessed by the evil they try to win. As a matter of fact, they do not understand the Word. They still have within, the contrary word: they fight one against the other to see who is the greatest (see Lk 9: 37–48). (Fr. Silvano Fausti)