The Lord’s Ministry of Exorcisms and Healings (Luke 4:30-44)

James Tissot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bible Study #13, Based on Luke 4:30-44

The people of Nazareth had driven Jesus out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill to throw him down the cliff, but Jesus was still able to pass through their midst and leave them. How exactly did he do that? We don’t know, but God’s providence was certainly at work in all of this—as Jesus said in another place, “My time is not yet come” (John 7:6, KJV).

Jesus then went into Capernaum, in Galilee, and there he taught in a synagogue on a Sabbath. There, in the synagouge, people were astonished because the word of Jesus had authority. What does that mean? What does it mean that the word of Jesus had authority? How did people know that the word of Jesus had authority?

In other passages, the authority of the teachings of Jesus is seen in the contrast of how the scribes taugth (Mark 1:22, Matthew 7:29). My opinion about what this means is that, whereas the scribes would have taught after studying the Bible and taking in consideration what others (rabbis) had said, Jesus taught from the point of view that his word was God’s word: Jesus taught as a prophet would have taught (“thus saith the Lord!”).

Moreover, Luke then tells us that a man in the synagogue had the spirit of a demon (in other words, the a demonic spirit inhabited that man). The man cried out (the demonic spirit was speaking through the man), “Ha! Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34, LEB).

Then, Jesus told the demon to be quiet and to come out of the man. So, the demon threw the man in the midst of the synagouge, did not harm him, and came out of the man. Luke tells us that the people were amazed because Jesus spoke to the demons with authority and power, and the demons obeyed him (because of this exorcism, reports about him went into the surrounding regions).

Moreover, after Jesus left the synagogue, he went into the house of Simon, where he healed Simon’s mother-in-law by rebuiking the fever. Then, at susnet, the people brought the sick to Jesus, and Jesus continued to heal the sick and to exorcise demons. Finally, Jesus told the people he had to leave to preach the kingdom of God in other cities (Luke 4:43).

What the people of Galilee were experiencing was amazig, glroious, and perhaps terrifying. It seemed that God had sent them a great prophet to heal them and free them from demons, and the demons were identifying this great prophet as the Holy One of God, the Son of God, and the Christ (Messiah).

Moreover, having defeated Satan in the desert, Jesus appears to now be defeating demons in the cities. Why? Because Jesus was proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:19), he was setting the oppressed at liberty, giving sight to the blind, and proclaming the good news to the poor since Jesus was God’s anointed (Luke 4:18). It seems, then, that after defeating Satan, Jesus was conquering Satan’s kingdom (by teaching, healing, and performing exorcisms), because Jesus was prclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand (compare Luke 4:43 with Luke 9:27, 10:9, 10:11, 11:20, 17:21).

Questions for Reflection

  • How do the events in this passage relate to the prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-2? See Matthew 4:12-17
  • Is there a spiritual battle taking place in this passage? How so? See Luke 10:18, 11:18
  • How do you think the demons knew who Jesus was? People have different answers to this question, but how would we answer if we tied everything to Luke 4:1-14?

Prayer Focus

  • Praise God for defeating Satan and his kingdom through Jesus!
  • Thank God for sending his Messiah with good news for all!
  • Confess your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.

Reminders

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