Text: Luke 4:31-44
If in the previous passage Jesus publishes his mission statement, then in this passage we have a ‘day in the life of’ Jesus as he begins to fulfil that mission.
He’s in Capernaum. In the morning, he goes to church. At lunchtime, he visits the house of Simon Peter. At sundown, he meets the townsfolk. Early the next morning, he leaves.
Key theme: authority
The authority of his words, vv31f
v32 ‘They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.’
Not like the rabbis. Rabbi Eliezer: ‘I have never in my life said a thing which I did not hear from my teachers’.
Authoritative not only in originality, in truthful content and persuasive delivery, but also in mighty deed.
Words can do things. ‘Speech acts’. ‘Stick and stones…’ Marriage certificate.
As we are about to see…
His authority over demons, vv31-37
4:36 – ‘with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!’
Their reality. Diseases do not speak, nor do they possess supernatural knowledge!
Their strategy. To remain quiet until provoked.
Their knowledge, v34. They know (better than his human hearers) who Jesus is. It would take Simon Peter until Caesarea Philippi to reach his great confession (Luke 9).
Their silencing, v35, 41. People would be all too ready to say that Jesus was in league with the devil, Lk 11:15.
Their destructiveness, v35 – throws the man to the ground (but without harming him).
Their defeat, v34. A central part of Jesus’ mission, 1 Jn 3:8.
His authority over disease, v38-39
He rebuked the fever. What kind of person can rebuke a fever? Only the one who made the body, and is master of it.
Instantaneous and complete.
Then we find him healing many at the end of the day. Jesus did many miracles, but he did not heal all. The folk at Capernaum would have love to have kept Jesus all for themselves, v42. but he declined. Which brings us to…
The authority of his mission, 40-44
v43 – “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
- His method – “I must preach”
- His message – “Good news of the kingdom of God”
- His mission (cf. v18f) – “That is why I was sent”
At the cross:-
- Message delivered, 1 Cor 1:18
- Demons disarmed, Col 2:15
- Wellbeing restored, 1 Pet 2:24
- Mission accomplished, Jn 19:30
What is the right response to legitimate authority?
Submit to The Lord Jesus Christ’
Christ – he has all the authority of God’s promises behind him
Jesus – he has authority to save you from sin, and to bestow on you eternal life
Lord – he has authority over demons and diseases, over the wind and the waves, over kings and conquerors, over time and eternity.
Believe in him as Christ. Trust in him as Saviour. Submit to him as Lord.