Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thoughts on Luke 4:31-44 (He's Got the Power!)

Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.  In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!”  “Be quiet!” Jesus 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 words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Here we find Jesus teaching in the synagogue again.  We aren't told how much time has passed since he was chased out of his hometown.  All that matters is that Jesus presses on with the task set before him.  Now, notice this because it is important.  IN THE SYNAGOGUE there was a man possessed by a demon.  Folks, if you think church is immune and safe, then you need to take another look.  If a possessed man could get into the doors of a synagogue with Jesus teaching in that same spot, what makes you think the demons can't infiltrate a church today?

This is why you need to always keep your spiritual guard up!  Stay in the Word of God so that you will be ready if you should ever encounter an impure spirit, even in church!

Something else to notice here.  The demons believe in Jesus.  More than that, they acknowledge Jesus as the Holy One of God.  Demons believe in Jesus and recognize Him.  It boggles my mind that people can be atheists.  It blows me away that they choose not to believe in Christ.  There is evil in the world.  The evil acknowledges Jesus as the Christ.  The evil acknowledges that is has no power to stop Jesus.  You can resists Jesus as long as you want, but in due time, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess.  That's a promise.  That's a "when" not an "if."

The Israelites have never seen anything like this.  A man casts out demons and they obey him.  Can you imagine what it's like to witness that kind of transformation and healing in a person?  It's a life-changing experience for the formerly possessed man.  I'll wager that the witnesses were changed too.  How can you not be affected after witnessing the power of God?

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.  So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.  At sunset, the people brought to Jesus 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 Messiah.   

After his teaching that day, he healed Simon's mother-in-law.  He healed many more people.  Many more demons were cast out and proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God.  Isn't that amazing?  How can anyone deny Jesus is the Son of God when even his enemies confess that is who he is?  Word gets out that Jesus is a healer.  People come to be healed.  People bring their friends and family to be healed.  The Bible does not tell us how many people were brought to him to be healed, but I have a feeling it was a LOT of people.  I cannot imagine how exhausted he must have been.  When I served as a youth pastor, Sundays were tough days.  The work of the church started early and finished late.  After lunch, I was completely and thoroughly exhausted.  It is like this with many serving in the ministry.  Monday is a common day for pastors to have off.  There were no days off for Jesus!

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.  But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”  And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

You see?  At DAYBREAK the people were looking for him.  Not only were they looking for him, they found him!  They didn't want him to leave.  In fact, they tried to keep him from leaving them. Jesus knew that his mission was to other places as well as this one.  It would have been very easy to stay in one place, especially when the people wanted him there.  It's human nature to want to be where we are wanted and where we are liked.  It's human nature to want to hang on to a good thing and keep it to yourself.

Jesus is not a secret to be kept!  He died so that we may live.  More than that though, he died so that everyone could live, but how can everyone else know about Jesus if we do not tell them?  Jesus is the best kept secret of our generation and shame on us for keeping him a secret.  Tell the world!  You don't have to be a master theologian or a soul winner.  All you have to do is tell them what Christ has done for you and He will do the rest.

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