In the presence of the Son of Man, Satan is driven out.

Reflection

John 12:20-33 is an interesting passage with a lot going on. The Father speaks from heaven. Jesus predicts the kind of death He would die. Jesus declares that the world will be judged and its ruler, Satan, will be cast out. As believers in Jesus, this supernatural understanding of power and coercion is vital. Jesus’ authority over Satan is what allows for us to experience freedom and extend that o er to others. This victory holds true both in the here and now, and in the future for eternity.

Jesus addresses Satan in a way that shows he is real, but we should fear not for He has overcome and we are not enslaved to evil or sin any longer. 1 Peter 5:8-9 addresses how we are to deal with encounters with Satan, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing rm in your faith.” The way to resist Satan is by standing rm in our faith in a community. Peter uses this predatory language to make us think about how animals respond to lions; they stick together and watch out for one another. This is the type of alertness and attentiveness we should be paying to the evil that is around us seeking to divide and destroy the body of Christ. Isn’t it comforting to know that we have a God and a community that is looking out for us and has our best interests at heart?

Practically speaking, Christ’s authority over Satan means that followers of Jesus are free from the snares of sin and eternal separation from God. While this freedom may not always be immediate, our sancti cation is a process that is to be lived out in community. John 12:20-33 is an interesting passage with a lot going on. The Father speaks from heaven, Jesus predicts the kind of death He would die, and He says the world will be judged and it’s ruler (Satan) will be cast out. As believers in Jesus, this supernatural understanding of power and coercion is vital. Jesus’ authority over Satan is what allows for us to experience freedom and extend that o er to others. This victory holds true both in the here and now, and in the future for eternity.

Discussion

  • How have you seen Christ’s freedom evidenced in your own life?
  • What are some areas in which Satan seeks to ensnare you? How are you seeking community to help protect you and hold you accountable?
  • How have you been able to encourage someone in their own sancti cation?
  • How does Christ’s victory over Satan, sin and the grave impact the way you engage with your family? With your church community? With your neighbors and co-workers?

Prayer

God of compassion,
you know our faults and yet you promised to forgive. Keep us in your presence and give us your wisdom. Open our hearts to gladness,
call dry bones to dance,
and restore to us the joy of your salvation. Amen.

Praxis

This week, rid yourself of distractions. Fast from social media to free up space for God to work and give you clarity.

Is there someone you know who you can encourage this week? Write them a note, ask them to meet up and pray with them.

Write out ways in which you feel Satan working against you. Write out a prayer and ask the Lord to ght on your behalf.

Practice Lectio Divina on 1 Peter 5:8-9. Read the passage through. Read it again slowly and meditate on a word that stands out to you. Then read it again and re ect on why that word would stand out to you. Then pray on whatever God reveals to you.

Lectionary readings for this week: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalm 51:1-12, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33.

Going Deeper

In his article, “The Fall of Satan and the Victory of Christ,” John Piper writes to encourage us in God’s victory over Satan. Assuredly, he writes “In the end, Satan serves to magnify the power, wisdom, love, grace, mercy, patience and wrath of Jesus Christ.”

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