SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:31-44
1. “They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority” – There was something about His message that touched them deep, that made them listen. I believe it was the Holy Spirit anointing His true words. They were not just true, they carried authority, they had an impact!
2. “A man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit… I know who you are-the Holy One of God!” – We do not think much about the presence and power of demons (or angels), so we may not take this story seriously enough. This story suggests that evil spirits see more than we do, and hold greater power in our lives than we recognize. they knew Who Jesus was, and though they hated Him, they respected Him.
3. “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. Come out of him!… With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” – When Jesus spoke, the weight of God behind Him caused the demons to shudder and flee. It was not because Jesus was God that they listened, for He was at this point emptied of divinity, and was fully human with His divine hands tied behind His back, as it were. The miracles Jesus performed were not as God, but as a human. But as a human endowed with the Spirit of God, just as we are. This is how we too can stand up to the enemy and perform miracles, with the power of the Spirit of God working through us.
4. “So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her” – Interesting that He rebukes the fever. Is then “it” a demon, or is it just an illness?
5. “He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ” – Jesus is keeping His identity a secret at this point, partly because the crowds would slow Him down, but also because they were eagerly expecting a messiah who would rise up and defeat the Romans. They misunderstood His mission, and would try to force Him to be their king (John 6:15). He didn’t need the demons undermining His mission.
6. “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place” – A healthy pattern to follow, and one of the reasons He was so strong in the Lord. He prepared Himself for each day, He centered and strengthened Himself in God. Again, remember that His power and authority were not because He was God (which He was), but as a human submitted to God. He was what we can be, if we surrender to Him.
7. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” – Jesus is clear on His mission, and will not let human need or pressure or acclaim distract Him from what He came to do. Do I know my mission, and am I as determined to fulfill it? In some ways, we all share this same mission (to preach the good news of the kingdom of God), but the specific shape and location of that mission differs from person to person. Jesus was sent to the towns of Israel… where are you sent?
Lord, thank You for making it clear that I am to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God in Ajax. Though I am nervous, yet I am confident in You. Help me to renew myself in You daily, to rely on You and not on myself. Grant me Your authority and power as I submit to You. Amen.