Authority: response

Jesus-in-Capernaum-SynagogueDemonic Knowledge. That the demonic powers possess a certain knowledge of Jesus’ identity is clear from the cry of recognition, “I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” This formula of recognition, however, does not stand alone. It is part of a larger complex of material exhibiting a striking difference between the forms of address employed by the demoniacs and the titles used by ordinary sick individuals. The latter group appeal to Jesus as “Lord” (7:8), “Teacher” (9:17), “Son of David” (10:47–48) or “Master” (10:51). The demoniacs, however, address Jesus as “the Holy One of God” (1:24), “the Son of God” (3:11) or “the Son of the Most High God” (5:7), formulations which identify Jesus as the divine Son of God. The contrast in address is an important characteristic distinguishing ordinary sickness from demonic possession, and reflects the superior knowledge of the demons. Some scholars make the distinction that the recognition-formula is not a confession, but a defensive attempt to gain control of Jesus in accordance with the common concept of that day, that the use of the precise name of an individual or spirit would secure mastery over him. Continue reading