In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, beginning in verse 13 we find that Jesus and His disciples are in Caesarea Philippi. The city is located at the foot of Mount Hermon. A spring flowing from this mountain runs by the city. Not far away is a place known as “Rock of the Gods”, in reference to the many shrines carved into the face of a cliff that overshadows the city. In particular this included shrines to several so-called gods, including “Pan”, who is the god of pandemonium.
In the center of the Rock of the Gods, where this mountain spring comes out, is a cave called the Gates of Hades (or Hell) because it was believed this is where gods would come up from the underworld.
In Jesus’ day (and I imagine still today), I have read that this place was shunned by rabbis who taught that no good Jew would ever visit there. To be truthful, I probably would have the same reaction! So it appears totally bizarre that Jesus would take his disciples on a field trip to that location. Why would Jesus choose this place, out of all places, to visit? I believe the following verses tell us that it was His way of saying “I am far more powerful than all of these”:
"...I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” -Matthew 16:18-19
There is a deep lesson to be learned here about the authority of not only the Church but also the Believer, but perhaps we can unpack that another day. Today, I plan to keep it short and sweet, and draw your attention to this so-called god named Pan, the god of pandemonium.
The word “Pan” by itself means all encompassing. There are lots of words that begin with pan. Pandemic and pansexual being just a couple. Considering Pan is named as the god of pandemonium, I wanted to look that word up in the dictionary as well. I was fascinated to learn that pandemonium means 1). a place or scene of riotous uproar or utter chaos; 2). the abode of all the demons. Interesting! Especially when you see it in the light of all the riots that broke out in various cities in 2020, all the chaos and fear instilled by the pandemic, the lock-downs, shipping crisis, empty shelves, and on and on.
Why do so many pay homage to this so-called god of pandemonium by giving in to the fear and chaos? Let’s stop giving him a place at our table! Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is far more powerful, and the gates of hell where all these demons reside will not be able to stand against us, Believers, His Church. Why? Because in Christ we have been given all power (the ability or capacity to do things) and all authority (the right to do things). Let’s send these demon cockroaches back to Hell where they belong!