Have you ever sent an older child to give instruction to a younger child, only to have the child come back and tell you, “Johnnie wouldn’t listen to me.”
Why? The younger child doesn’t want to be bossed by his older sibling is one reason, usually. But, the bigger reason is that they don’t see the older sibling as the authority. Mom and dad are the authority, not big brothers.
Now, if the younger brother would have said, “Johnnie, Mom said….” That brings a little more weight. But, when mom is there, Johnnie better obey!
In today’s passage the people recognize the difference between God’s authority, in Jesus, and the older sibling, who is just repeating what other Rabbis are saying.
The Passage: Luke 4:31-37
- What were the 2 things that amazed the people? What was amazing about them? (Luke 4:32, Luke 4:36)
- Why do you think Jesus told the demon possessed man not to proclaim who He was? (Luke 4:35)
- By what authority did Jesus cast the demon out? (Luke 4:35)
- What insights does Mark 1:27 add to this?
After being rejected in Nazareth, Jesus sets up “shop” in Capernaum. For most of the rest of his ministry, he will be based out of Capernaum.
Capernaum was a major trade route from Egypt through to the areas north of Israel. So, it was an ideal place from which Jesus to base his ministry.
After getting settled, on the Sabbath, Jesus followed his normal custom by entering the synagogue and following the tradition of a rabbi. (Luke 4:31-32)
The people were amazed at the authority by which he taught.
On this particular day, in this particular synagogue, there was a demon possessed man. Whether he was a regular attender, or someone who came because Jesus was there, we don’t know. But he was there.
The demon possessed man confronted Jesus, right in the middle of the synagogue service. Jesus rebuked him and told him to be silent, then cast the demon out.
The people were amazed again with the authority in which he wielded.
There are a couple things that we need to mention to help us understand a bit more of what was going on here.
- Holman said that Rabbis taught based on the authority of the Hebrew writings and the teachings of other Rabbis. They were constantly quoting other rabbis, and did not teach as an authority themselves. Jesus taught as an authority himself!
- The Rabbis had very ritualistic ways of exorcism. You see this a little in the 2nd episode of The Chosen. Nicodemus is called upon to cast the demon out of Mary. He follows the rabbinical ritual. But, Jesus did not. He simply spoke, and the demon obeyed!
The Words Jesus spoke were God’s Words! The authority Jesus wielded was God in the flesh! Jesus, as the living breathing Word was displaying God Himself, in the flesh. The words He spoke and the things he did, were the works of God! What the people witnessed that day was God Himself, doing His work, through the man, Christ Jesus! And it made an impact. They clearly saw something was different about Jesus!
It’s interesting how often the words, “they were amazed” are used when God shows up and is clearly seen through what Jesus did.
Are you available to be God’s hands, feet, ears and mouth, here on earth? You and I are called to follow Jesus example. We are God’s ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). He wants to communicate to the world around us what He is like, through what we do and what we say. That’s what Jesus was doing.
Are those who witness your life, amazed at the work of God through you?
Jesus spoke with boldness and authority, because the words He spoke were God’s words. The same is true for us! When we use the Word of God in speaking to others, we can speak with boldness and confidence, because we ARE speaking the very Words of God!
Today, I pray that you will recognize the authority by which you can speak, so that you will speak with boldness. I pray also that you will be available for God Himself to do His work through your life