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THAT IS WHY I WAS SENT

Luke 4:31-4:44
Key Verse: 4:43

In the previous passage we thought of the general picture of the Messiah’s role, and the Messiah Jesus’ rejection by his home town people. After that, Luke recorded one day’s life of the Messiah. He taught, healed, drove out demons, prayed and renewed his direction to preach. May we pay attention to a-day-in-the-life of Jesus and learn from him.

First, the Messiah teaches (31-37). Look at verse 31. “Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.” The literal meaning of Capernuam is the village of compassion or of consolation. Capernaum, located on the north-west side of the Sea of Galilee, was 200 metres (about 700 feet) below the level of the Mediterranean. According to Matthew 9:1, Caperanum was Christ’s own town. According to Luke 7:5-6, a centurion in Capernaum built the synagogue out of his love for the Jewish nation. Recently the foundation of the synagogue in Capernaum was uncovered.

Jesus went down to Capernaum and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. Here, again we see the teaching Messiah. From the beginning of the Messianic ministry to the last Passion Week, Jesus the Messiah taught. Luke described this very well. As we studied in the previous passage, Jesus taught in their synagogues in Galilee (4:15), and here in Capernaum on the Sabbath he began to teach the people in the synagogue. And Luke wrote in 19:47, “Every day he was teaching at the temple…” and in 21:37, “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple…” We should know that the Messiah is first of all, the teacher of God’s word, not a miracle-performer.

Look at verse 32. “They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.” Who can deny the authority of Jesus as the Son of God? In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel said to Mary concerning Jesus, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” It seemed obvious that Jesus’ teaching had authority. Still, Luke commented, “…because his message had authority.” And Mark wrote in 1:22, “…because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” Mark contrasted Jesus’ teaching and that of the teachers of the law. As for the teachers of the law, human title and authority were important. Once when Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders came up to him and said, “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things. Who gave you this authority?” (Lk 20:1). Their teaching was just quibbling and quoting. It was typical for them just to cite the words of an illustrious predecessor. They were constantly borrowing from fallible sources, one scribe quoting another scribe. They loved to have the most important seats in the synagogues to be honoured by men (Lk 11:43; 20:46). They put heavy loads on people, but they themselves did not practice what they taught and preached (Mt 23:3). They shut the kingdom of heaven and did not let others to enter, themselves not entering; they had taken away the key (Mt 23:14; Lk 11:52). They were a great hindrance to Jesus’ ministry and opposed Jesus, who was obeying and serving the will of God. It was because they did not seek nor know God’s will for them. But as for Jesus, he taught the word he received from God (Jn 17:8). He absolutely believed in the written words of the Scriptures and he himself obeyed them, as we studied in the temptation of Jesus (Lk 4:3,8,12). He struggled hard to deny his human desire and obey the will of God (Lk 22:42). Jesus spoke uncompromisingly the word of God’s truth. When a woman could think of only human blessing, saying, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you, Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (11:28). When Jesus made his way to Jerusalem, someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” Jesus said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door” (13:22). And he could teach people with many parables because of his shepherd heart for them (LK 15). And we cannot forget that Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord was on him. Certainly he taught in the power of the Spirit (4:14). So his message had authority.

Now one clear evidence of Jesus’ authority in his teaching is written. Look at verses 33 and 34. “In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Luke wrote, “…a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit.” So a spiritual battle was going on in the person. He did not cry out, “Help me, Jesus?” but, “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” Here we see what’s going on in the spiritual realm. The man cried out, using the first plural pronoun “us” and then he said, “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Certainly, the man did not know Jesus, the Holy One of God. So we can say that the demon in the man was speaking, as if the demon were the person. In demon-possession the man lost himself. 1 John 3:8 says, “…The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” The devil is the boss of demons. There are many demons, and the demon in the man knew that Jesus came to destroy the work of their boss the devil. But he sensed that his imminent end was too early in coming. It is true that Jesus came to save mankind, but also to destroy the devil and the devil’s work.

Then, what did Jesus do? Look at verse 35. “‘Be quiet!’ Jesus said sternly. ‘Come out of him!’” We know that the Lord Jesus is gentle-hearted. But when he has to be stern, he is stern. Particularly he is stern and strict toward the demons, evil spirits. So he did not command the man, but the demon in the man, saying, “Be quiet. Come out of him.” He separated the demon from the man. Jesus knew that this man was also made in the image of God and a precious soul before God. If the demon in him were driven out, he would be fine. Here we see that Jesus’ teaching was powerful, for he knew the spiritual reality and genuinely had heart for the one soul. Surely, his power was over the devil. So at Jesus’ command, the demon came out. Verse 35b says, “Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.” The demon tried to show his power by throwing the man down before all people. But Luke the physician commented, “the demon came out without injuring him.” Before Jesus’ power, the demon’s power was just pretence. Jesus protected the man completely and made him whole.

At this all the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” What people really want is Jesus’ teaching, his authority and power, which is over evil spirits. As spiritual beings, human beings long for such power and authority. In verse 37 the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

We thank and praise God for Jesus whose teaching had authority and power, particularly over evil spirits, and who, in thus doing, made the pitiful demon-possessed soul whole. His power and authority may work in and through us as we study and teach the word of God. May we teach the word of God in obedience to God, in the power of the Spirit and genuine heart for the people, one after another.

Second, the Messiah heals (38-41). Look at verse 38. “Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.” Why did Jesus go to Simon’s home, after worship service in the synagogue? According to Mark, several people went to Simon’s house, probably to eat lunch (Mk 1:29). In any case, there Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever. Luke the physician wrote, “…suffering from a high fever.” We can imagine that she was in a dangerous state, especially when we think of the lack of modern medicines at that time. In this situation they asked Jesus to help her. Jesus is always happy when we ask him for help. He is willing and able to help us, even in a high fever situation. No matter how “high” or “great” the fever, Christ’s power is always higher and greater.

What did Jesus do at this request? Look at verse 39. “So, he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.” Now Jesus’ concern was wholly on Simon’s mother-in-law, one sick old lady. He bent over her and rebuked the fever and it left her. Even the high fever was under his control. With his total concern and power Jesus healed her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. Jesus’ healing was not only sudden but also complete. In his healing the seemingly useless old lay became very useful serving others. In her serving, the people there must have eaten lunch deliciously.

Look at verse 40. “When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” Jesus’ healing one old sick lady was a powerful influence in the town of Capernaum. Right after the Sabbath was over, people brought all who had various kinds of sickness. Simon’s house became a clinic, a polyclinic, a general hospital. It draws our attention that Jesus healed them, laying his hand on each one. We don’t know how many patients were brought. But Jesus welcomed all of them and took time and made effort to heal each of them, laying his hand on each sick person, mostly probably until late evening. In this way Jesus must have shown each person the Messiah’s love, that is none other than the love of God. We see clearly that Jesus not only wanted to heal them but also wanted to let them to know God’s love personally through the Messiah.

Look at verse 41. “Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.” Again, we see Jesus’ authority and power over demons. Luke recorded that demons know Jesus is the Holy One of God, the Son of God and the Christ. But knowledge is different from faith. One’s putting faith in Jesus is the most important thing in life and in the world. Christ Jesus should spread through such people, those who put their faith in him.

In this part we learn about Jesus’ healing. His healing is truly total care to help each individual know the love of God, put one’s faith in the Messiah, and serve others in his name.

Third, the Messiah confirms his coming purpose (42-43). Look at verse 42. “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.” Jesus went out to a solitary place, certainly to pray (Mk 1:35). Even after such a busy and tiring evening, in the next day Jesus found time and place for his personal time with God the Father. He did not fail to do so. This is truly the divine image of Jesus as the Son of God. He was different from the people who were looking for him because of his healing power and popularity.

When the people found him and tried to keep him from leaving them, what did Jesus do? Look at verse 43. “But he said, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’” Jesus must have renewed his purpose of coming in this world. Jesus did not say, “I must heal and drive out demons in other towns also.” He said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns also.” Luke used in his gospel the term “the kingdom of God” more than 30 times. Here in verse 43 is the first occurrence of this term in Luke’s gospel. The kingdom of God is the realm where God’s rule reaches in this world and there is the kingdom of God beyond this world where we can enter after finishing our life on earth, that is, paradise (Lk 23:43). Jesus came to this world to bring us back to the kingdom of God and also to establish the kingdom of God in the hearts of the people of this world, displacing Satan's kingdom. We are happy that the Canadian team did very well at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, with 10 Gold Medals including both men’s and women’s hockey. But the kingdom of God does not come through a gold medal. It comes through the Messiah. We believe that the kingdom of God was established in the man who had been possessed by a demon and released from the evil power by Jesus. Also, the kingdom of God was established in Simon’s mother-in-law through Jesus’ total concern and care, and in the heart of each of the many on whom Jesus had laid his hand. The kingdom of God is truly good news to all mankind who are living under Satan’s rule. The kingdom of God is the ultimate hope for all those living in this perishing world. Jesus came to preach and proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God. Luke 8:1 says, “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him.” And it is written in Luke 16:16, “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” Throughout his life Jesus strenuously preached and proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God, which was the purpose of his coming. Jesus did not compromise his coming purpose with the peoples' demands such as healing and exorcism. He clearly knew why God sent him into this world, and renewed and kept the direction.

In this study we could think of a-day-in-the-life of Jesus. He taught with authority, healed with total care, and prayed and renewed his coming purpose to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. Following Jesus’ example, may we particularly teach the word of God in obedience to God, in the power of the Spirit, with a genuine heart for each individual, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.

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