WE NEED TO SUBMIT TO THE ABSOLUTE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST WHO REIGNS OVER THE KINGDOM OF GOD
If the demons understand the person and power and authority of Jesus Christ, how much more so should we submit and enjoy the blessing of His dominion. The preaching of the kingdom of God means nothing apart from the authority and Lordship of the King. This is good news for us who if left to our own designs would live a life of frustration and futility. Everything Jesus said and did was for a purpose – He truly lived the “Purpose-Driven Life.” We should have no expectation that Jesus will always heal or always deliver us with a miracle, etc. Instead we should submit to His power and authority and embrace His sovereign kingdom agenda. But at the same time we must maintain our confidence that He is all powerful to do whatever He wishes for our benefit in any situation of life.
(:31-32) PRELUDE – DEVELOPING A REPUTATION FOR POWER AND AUTHORITY IN CAPERNAUM AND BEYOND
A. (:31a) Place of Teaching = Capernaum
“And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee.”
descended in altitude — Capernaum was 680 feet below sea level while Nazareth was about 1200 feet above sea level.
Significance of Capernaum – became the base of operations for His public ministry; city in Galilee; 20 miles NE from Nazareth; northern shores of Sea of Galilee;
3 main highways ran thru here:
– Up to Tyre and Sidon
– Across to Damascus
– Down to Jerusalem
B. (:31b) Pattern of Teaching = Sabbath
“And He was teaching them on the Sabbath;”
Primary ministry function = teaching the people
C. (:32) Power of Teaching = Message was With Authority
“and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.”
Donald Miller: Here is one whose word carried authority over disease, nature, the world of demonic spirits, the human heart, and sin. In every realm where evil reigns, a mightier authority had come to intervene and to set men free. His authority resided in his Person. It was not the authority of the scribes, which lay in citing passages of Scripture or the tradition which had grown up around the Scriptures (Mark 1:22). It was an authority inherent in who Jesus was.
Robertson: He struck a note not found by the Jewish rabbis. They quoted other rabbis and felt their function to be expounders of the traditions which they made a millstone around the necks of the people (cf Lk 17:2+, Mt 18:6, Mk 9:42+). By so doing they set aside the word and will of God by their traditions (paradosis) and petty legalism (Mk 7:9, 13+). They were casuists and made false interpretations to prove their punctilious points of external etiquette to the utter neglect of the spiritual reality (cf Mt 23:23, 24, 25). The people noticed at once that here was a personality Who got His power (authority) direct from God, not from the current scribes.
I. (:33-37) POWER AND AUTHORITY OVER DEMONS
A. (:33a) Demon Possession
“And there was a man in the synagogue possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon,”
What was a demon doing in the synagogue? They are impure spirits
B. (:33b-34) Demon Testimony
“and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 ‘Ha! What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are– the Holy One of God!’”
C. (:35) Demon Exorcism
“And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet and come out of him!’ And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him without doing him any harm.”
Geldenhuys: In his desperate rage the demon threw the man down, but Jesus’ manifestation of power was so perfect that He even prevented the man from being in any way hurt.
D. (:36-37) Reaction of the People
1. (:36a) Amazement of the People
“And amazement came upon them all,
2. (:36b) Authority and Power of His Teaching
“and they began discussing with one another saying, ‘What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’”
Note the switch to the plural – this was not the only instance of Jesus commanding the impure spirits
3. (:37) Growing Reputation
“And the report about Him was getting out into every locality in the surrounding district.”
II. (:38-41) POWER AND AUTHORITY OVER DISEASE
A. (:38-39) Very Personal Healing – Mother-in-law of Simon Peter
“And He arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever; and they made request of Him on her behalf. 39 And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately arose and waited on them.”
Donald Miller: The fact that the fever was “high” and that the cured one “immediately . . . rose and served them” (vs. 39), attests the power and the completeness of the cure.
B. (:40-41) General Scope of Healing
1. (:40) Various Kinds of Sickness – quite the medical clinic – no need for specialists
“And while the sun was setting, all who had any sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on every one of them, He was healing them.”
Geldenhuys: The Jewish days commenced and ended with the setting of the sun. That was the reason why the inhabitants of Capernaum waited on that day (which was a Sabbath) until sunset (when the Sabbath ended) and then brought their sick and demon-possessed people to Jesus.
How would you contrast the healing ministry of Jesus with that of self-proclaimed faith healers today?
J. Ligon Duncan: Notice that Luke does not ascribe all sickness to demonic activity. There are some who are sick and have diseases and need to be healed, and there are others who are possessed by demons and perhaps have physical manifestations of that, and what they need is for the demons to be cast out. And Jesus does both.
Steven Cole: Contrary to what many think, miracles are not uniformly distributed throughout the Bible. They occur mostly in clusters around the time of Moses, again with Elijah and Elisha, a few in Daniel’s time, and at the time of Christ and the apostles. These were all crucial periods of God’s dealings with His people.
2. (:41) Miraculous Healing From Demons
“And demons also were coming out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Son of God!” And rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.”
Relationship between demon possession and physical and emotional ailments
Why did Jesus refuse the testimony of these demons?
Why don’t we see the same type of ministry to demon-possessed people today?
(:42-44) POSTLUDE — PRIORITY OF HIS MINISTRY
A. (:42a) Seeking Solitude – Needs Private Time with the Father
“And when day came, He departed and went to a lonely place;”
Mark 1:35 — for the purpose of prayer
B. (:42b) Swarmed by the Multitudes – Not Constrained by People’s Desires
“and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away from them.”
C. (:43-44) Set on His Course – Committed to His Widespread Preaching Mission
“But He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.’ 44 And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”
MacArthur: He came not merely to demonstrate His power over the effects of sin in the body by physical healing and the mind by overcoming demonic influence, but most importantly His power to overcome sin’s eternal consequences. For that to happen required repentance and faith in the gospel preached (cf. Rom. 10:13-17). Only by faith in the truth preached could sinners be rescued from Satan’s kingdom of darkness and enter into the kingdom of God
Are you on target with God’s calling on your life?
What distracts you from fulfilling your role in the Great Commission?
Donald Miller: Jesus had not come to be a mere wonder-worker, but to preach the good news of the Kingdom. And the miracles were a part of that good news! Those who saw only the wonders but did not see them as signs that Jesus had come to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, missed the point entirely.