Max Lucado took a group of 500 people to Israel. One day they held a Bible Study on the steps of the Temple Mount, a location where Jesus himself gathered with his disciples.
For Lucado’s lesson he chose John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
He was focusing on the words “one and only.” And whenever he said the words “one and only” a voice was heard. It was high pitched and coming (it seemed) from somewhere in the crowd. And it wasn’t nice—it was mocking. And it happened every time he said the words “one and only.”
And whenever Lucado said the name Jesus, the voice repeated the name “Jesus,” but with a heavy and derisive tone.
It had all the signs of an invisible spiritual battle.
The voice seemed to be coming from the back. People were turning, looking. They also heard it, but no one could see the origin of the voice. The guides and guards were also looking, but no one could find anything or anyone.
The louder Lucado became, the louder the voice sneered. So he made a decision, prayed, and then proclaimed out loud these words: “Jesus is the supreme authority of this place, any place, and every place, which, by the way, includes any demons, servants of hell, and Satan himself. You are not welcome in this gathering!” He repeated it over and over. As he did, the mocking voice fell silent.
The rest of the Bible study continued in peace. A tour guide was later asked if they ever found the culprit. “We tried, but we could not find him.”
“The guide had no explanation,” Lucado said, but “I do… Any demonic tongue must mute itself at the presence of truth.”*
As a summary of God’s good news and eternal rescue for the world, John 3:16 can and will shut the mouth of the Evil One who would love to do nothing more than to intimidate God’s people into a rabbit hole.
So speak the truth.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–*Max Lucado, Glory Days (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015), 136-7.