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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jesus the Exorcist – The Jesus I’ve Never Known

Before he was worshipped as the God/man, Lord and Savior, the Historical Jesus of Nazareth was an exorcist.  More than a moral teacher, more than an itinerant rabbi with a cluster of following disciples, more than an eschatological prophet – he was also an exorcist, casting out demons and unclean spirits by the “finger of God" (Luke 11:20). (Meier, 407)[i]

But this Jesus I have never known.

Even though he commissioned his disciples (and, one might assume, those of us who follow these many centuries later) to follow in his footsteps and “gave them power and authority to drive out all demons (Luke 9:1)” this is still a Jesus I have never known.

Despite all the warnings I’ve received over the years that watching horror movies, listening to rock music, dancing, playing dungeons and dragons, meditating, dressing up for Halloween, etc… would inevitably lead to demonic possession – or at the very least demonic attack  - I have never experienced anything that I could label “demonic” – meaning something of an evil supernatural spirit activity.

Actually all those warnings had the exact opposite of their intended effect: I wanted to see some supernatural phenomenon. I looked for ectoplasm, tinkered with an Ouija board, lit candles and meditated. I read Bob Larson’s books in preparation for the demonic assault.  But … nothing.

So I’ve never been able to cast out any demons.   Jesus the exorcist is the Jesus I’ve never known.

“Perhaps in no other aspect of Jesus’ ministry does his distance from modern Western culture and scientific technology loom so large and the facile program of making the historical Jesus instantly relevant to present-day men and women seem so ill-conceived (Meier 406-7).”

Still – this movie looks like a load of fun:

[i] Meier John P. A Marginal Jew (Vol.2) Mentor, Message and Miracles, Doubleday, New York NY, 1994

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