John T. Willis

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Exorcism and Healing--Luke 4:31-44

After Jesus escaped from his friends and relatives who tried to kill him at Nazareth, Jesus "went down" northeast to Capernaum close to the Sea of Galilee (Gennesaret) approximately 900 feet lower than Nazareth topographically. At Capernaum, Jesus encountered many instances of exorcism and healing. This appears in Luke 4:31-44. This falls into four sections.

I. Jesus taught people at Capernaum. Luke 4:31-32.
a. 4:31-32 is a transitional summary from Jesus' events in Nazareth in Luke 4:14-30 to Capernaum in Luke 4:31-44.
b. In Capernaum, Jesus "was teaching" people on the sabbath. 4:31.
c. The people at Capernaum were "astounded" at Jesus' teaching, because he spoke with authority. 4:32.

II. Jesus cast an unclean demon from a man in the synagogue at Capernaum. Luke 4:33-37.
a. 4:33 indicates that Jesus had been teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum (see Luke 7:5). In that synagogue, there was a man who made the spirit of an unclean demon. 4:33a.
b. The demon recognized Jesus and cried out with a loud voice, "Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth" Have you come to destoy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." The demon knew who Jesus was. Demons have special knowledge and can evalute the importance of their superiors. Many people in the Western World do not believe demons, spirits, unclean spirits exist. People in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere interact with such beings regularly. The term "What have you to do with us?" means literally in Greek, "What to us and to you?", an expression that show real hostility--see Judges 11:12; 1 Kings 17:18; 2 Chronicles 35:21. The demons did not want to have anything to do with the authority and power of Jesus. "Us" here means several demons. "The Holy One of God" is a common term for Yahweh in the Hebrew Bible. Luke 4:34 connects Jesus the Son with God the Father. God through Jesus has the power to overthrow demons living in the lives of human beings. 4:33b-34.
c. Bu authority, Jesus "rebuked" the demon, "Be silent, and come out of him [the troubled man]." The demon threw the man down on the ground before the people around but did the man no harm. Jesus was in full control. 4:35.
d. Jesus' exorcism of the demon "amazed" all the people who saw this. They told one another that with "authority and power," Jesus "commands" unclean spirits," and the unclean spirits come out of troubled people. A report about Jesus began to reach every place in that region in Galilee. 4:36-37.

III. Jesus healed Simon's mother-in-law, healed sick people, and cast out demons at Capernaum. Luke 4:38-41.
a. Jesus left the synagogue in Capernaum and went to the house of Simon. 4:38a.
b. Simon's mother-in-law had a high fever, and people asked Jesus about her.
1 Corinthians 9:5 states that Peter was married. Simon's mother-in-law lived in Simon's house or was visiting his family there. Jesus stood over Simon's mother-in-law and "rebuked" the fever, just as Jesus had "rebuked" the demon in 4:35. The fever left the woman. Immediately, Simon's mother-in-law got up and began to "serve" the people there. It is clear that Simon's mother-in-law was a person who enjoyed serving other people and was grateful for all God had done for her. She was a paradigm of other women who will serve Jesus in the future--see Luke 8:1-3; 23:49,
55. 4:38b-39.
c. As the sun was setting, people brought their sick friends and family members to Jesus, Jesus laid his hands of them and cured them. Laying hands on people is a means God instructs people to use to heal the sick. 4:40.
d. At Capernaum, demons came out of many people, saying, "You [Jesus] are the Son of God!" Jesus "rebuked" these demons [see 4:35, 39] and would not allow them to speak because they knew Jesus was the Messiah. 4:41.

IV. Jesus left Capernaum and preached God's message in the synagogue of Judea. Luke 4:42-44.
a. Luke 4:42-44 is a transitional passage. Jesus moves from Galilee to Judea. After spending the night in Capernaum, "at daybreak" Jesus departed and "went into a deserted place." Jesus had spent much time and effort among people, casting out demons and healing the sick the day before (see 4:40-41). Now Jesus was tired and needed solitude. 4:42a.
b. The people of Capernaum began looking for Jesus early the next morning. After a while, they found Jesus and urged Jesus to return to Capernaum to continue to work with them. 4:42b-c.
c. Jesus resisted the appeal of the people of Capernaum, explaining that he MUST proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to other cities also, for, Jesus says, "I was SENT for this purpose." The term "must," that is, "it is necessary," underscores the truth that God the Father sent Jesus on planet earth on a "mission," and that mission was to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to all people. 4:43.
d. So, Jesus left the people of Capernaum in Galilee and moved south into Judea, where he preached in the synagogues of Judea. Jesus' earthly ministry is growing now. 4:44.

Share YOUR experiences and concerns with others. Let me hear from You.

John Willis


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