Luke 4:31-44 Authority

31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha![b] What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Authority

Jesus speaks with authority in the Saturday services at the synagogue.  His words have power.  He exorcises demons because he has authority over them.  He casts out sickness because he has authority over sickness.  He expands his preaching to the region of Judea from Galilee.  Jesus’ authority is spreading as Luke tells his story.  It is a sign of who he is.  Jesus’ authority comes from his identity.  Who is Jesus? It’s a dead give away, isn’t it?  He is the Lord’s anointed.  He is the awaited Messiah who will bring blessing to the nations.  He sets people free from untruth, oppression, and physical illness.

In the same spirit, as those he has sent, we must go into the world preaching the good news that we can be reconciled with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If you trust in Jesus, you will be saved.  We work to free people from evils like hunger, sex-trafficking, and oppression.  We set up hospitals and shelters to take care of their physical needs.  This is what it means to go into the world in the spirit of Jesus, to proclaim the good news to the nations as he did.  We have been given his authority, we should use it.

Prayer

Jesus, show us the lives around us that you want to touch.  Show us how our jobs can be improved to do good in the world.  Show us how to use your authority to bring healing to a sick world.  Give us the truth to speak and the platform to speak it.

Questions

  1. How is Jesus’ authority emphasized?
  2. Why does Luke want us to know Jesus had authority?
  3. What was the response to Jesus’ authority?
  4. How does Jesus have authority over your life?
  5. How does Jesus want to use you to communicate his authority over the world in which you live?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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