Conquering the Spirit World

by Ibn El-Amin

Nasruddin, whose stories have became a part of Islamic literature, understood the power of unseen forces in peoples lives and used it to his own advantage in the following story.

Nasruddin Joha and His Lost Donkey

Once upon a time, Nasruddin Joha was on a journey with his donkey. He arrived in a strange city and left his animal at the door of a shop while he went in to purchase supplies and drink some tea. When he came out his donkey was gone. In a loud voice he said, "Return the donkey to this spot in one hour, or I will do to this town what I did to the last one that tried to steal my donkey." Then he went back into the shop. Within that hour the people of the town found the thief and returned the animal to its place in front of the store.

When Nasruddin came out an hour later and saw his animal, he untied it and started out of town. As he did, an old man came up to him and asked, "What were you going to do to the own if the animal was not returned?" His answer, "I was going to do what I did in the last town; I was going to leave."

In this story, the enemy is the power that the villagers believed Nasruddin had over evil spirits, and his ability to use them to bring about evil. The people believed that Nasruddin’s power was able to place a curse on the whole village for the way they had treated him. They feared the supernatural and this unknown person who could use its power against them.

Isa’s Power Over Evil Spirits

When Isa was living on earth, he displayed a similar power over evil spirits, but his power was used to bring about good. He was constantly involved in people’s lives. He showed himself to people as the miracle worker, but his miracles had a useful purpose in the lives of people he touched. He continually met their needs and showed them how much God loved them and wanted to be a part of their lives.

Isa sought to meet many different kinds of needs, but the following story from the Injil shows his power to drive out evil spirits.

Isa went down to a town in Galilee, and on the day of prayer he began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching because his message had authority. In the house of prayer, there was a man possessed by a demon. The man cried out at the top of his voice, "Ha! What do you want with us, Isa, son of Mary?" This was the demon speaking through the man’s mouth. "Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!"

"Be quiet!" Isa said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!" And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

When the sun was setting, the people brought to Isa all who had various kinds of sickness and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Chosen One of God.

Though Nasruddin had a reputation of having power over evil forces, his power was really seen in his ability to bluff people. But Isa actually did have power over the spirit world, which can make life difficult for humankind. The Injil tells us that since Isa has overcome these forces, we are conquerors with him if we trust in him. The purpose of the work of Isa was to set people free from the works and power of Satan.

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