23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
One of the common questions that I am asked, especially by children, is why God would have created the devil. Once children grasp that God made everything, and that the devil is a creation, they simply cannot imagine why God who is good and loving would make such a creature.
One answer that I have not yet given, at least not in this form, which grabs my attention is here as I read this passage. Look at what happens. An evil spirit is tormenting a person until one particular moment. Then, out of nowhere so far as the evil spirit is concerned, his power is totally and irreparably broken.
We know that God does the things that he does for the sake of his own glory. This means that God created mankind for his glory. It also means that God created the demons for his glory. This is not to make God guilty of sin or the author of evil, but rather it is to be true to the Scriptures which declare that God made all things, and apart from him, nothing was made (cf. John 1:1-3; Gen 1:1; etc.).
Looking at this instance in mark’s gospel, we see at least one reason for the existence of the evil spirit. The spirit exists for Jesus to cast out. When Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the person in mark 1, Jesus showed those around him that he indeed had the authority to command evil spirits to leave people alone. Jesus is greatly powerful, greatly to be praised. Casting out that demon showed the world that Jesus was stronger than any evil spirit. Thus, the demon, in its own unintentional way, glorified Jesus by losing to him.
It would do us all good to remember that God has indeed made everything for the purpose of shining a light on his glory. All good things, all beautiful things, all wonderful things show us those attributes in God. All ugly things, all evil things, all hurtful things contrast with the beauty of God, and they show us God’s power when he defeats them. Sin glorifies God, because when God rightly punishes sin, his justice is magnified. Sin glorifies God also because when God forgives a sinner, his grace is magnified. We ought never to intentionally sin so that grace might be displayed, but we must recognize that everything in the universe, even our sin or evil spirits, ultimately serves to display the power and glory of our God.