31And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.
33And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice,
34“HA! WHAT HAVE YOU TO DO WITH US, JESUS OF NAZARETH? HAVE YOU COME TO DESTROY US? I KNOW WHO YOU ARE—THE HOLY ONE OF GOD.”
35But Jesus rebuked him, saying,
“BE SILENT AND COME OUT OF HIM!”
And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
36And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”
37And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
After the incident in the synagogue of Nazareth (Luke 4:16), Jesus went to the Northwest shore of Galilee Lake, to the town called Capharnaum, to continue with his ministry.
As He was accustomed, He preached specially on the Shabbat, when people were inclined to listen about spiritual things more than other days of the week.
The crowd in the synagogue, more open, as they were more exposed to foreign ideas due to the Roman and Greek influence around them, were receiving with admiration the message of Jesus, noticing as the evangelist quotes, that Jesus ‘spoke with authority’, meaning that He did not base his teaching on the Midrash or Talmud, or on the traditions or interpretations of the Elders, but that He exposed his teaching directly, based on the Torah and own wisdom.
This came as a shock as well as a reason for wonder, because a Rabbi never preached his own ideas as coming only from himself, but quoted vastly from other Jewish teachers, reason that gave the Talmud its authority in Judaism. Very much like any Pastor, Religious leader or Theologian does these days. BUT the soundness of his reasoning behind his preaching, caused the admiration of his listeners, since they could not find a fault in his doctrine.
Suddenly, a demoniac spoke and said:
“HA! WHAT HAVE YOU TO DO WITH US, JESUS OF NAZARETH? HAVE YOU COME TO DESTROY US? I KNOW WHO YOU ARE—THE HOLY ONE OF GOD.”
The demon openly recognized in Jesus’ preaching, that He was the announced Messiah. No like some that think that they knew that Jesus was divine, since this was hidden from Satan, otherwise, Satan would not have killed Jesus on the Cross.
Demonic powers were ignorant of the divinity as well as the mechanics of the atonement. But they knew about the Messiah and his righteous teachings and its mission to bring the Kingdom of God to Earth. This is the reason why the demons came yelling in terror towards our Lord every time they saw Him, and reason why this demon confronted Lord Jesus, by arguing that it was not the time of judgement yet (What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?).
As he revealed that Jesus was the appointed Messiah, Jesus commanded him to keep silent and leave the possessed person alone.
JESUS commanded the demon on his own authority. He did not pray to the Father for permission, or commended the possessed person to God prior to expel the demon, but did it immediately and on his own fill and power.
The demon immediately left the sick man, leaving him alone and returned to the abyss; but this portent was a confirmation to the good will of the people that were there present and listened to Jesus.
When they said,
“For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”
They received the testimony of God, that Him who was before them, was not a common Rabbi, but the Son of Lord God YHWH.