The Amazing authority of Christ
Luke 4:31-5:11 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, 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 quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. 36 And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” 37 And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.
38 Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. 39 And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.
40 While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 41 Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
42 When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. 43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
5 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Today’s text begins saying: And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” Throughout His ministry, one of the things which differentiated Jesus from other teachers and from other ministers was His authority. It is sometimes misunderstood that Satan has or had authority on earth because of Adam and Eve’s sin. It is true that in the beginning Adam and Eve were given dominion over all creation. Through sin, they lost that dominion. Both they and all of creation were under the curse and Satan, through deception, took the authority and dominion of Adam, Eve and of all people. God though, never lost His authority. God was, is and always will be sovereign over all of creation. If the very continuing existence of the delicate balance and order of creation and all life were not enough, the miracles recorded in the Old Testament are evidence of the authority of God, even after the fall of man. Jesus did not need to die on the cross to gain His authority. He died on the cross to redeem us from sin, to reconcile us to God and to restore our authority.
In Matthew 10:1, Mark 6:7 and Luke 9:1 say basically the same thing: Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. In order to give authority, Jesus had to have authority. The account spoken of in these verses though was a limited and temporary authority, given to the disciples for that specific time. We today cannot really claim that authority, based on these accounts. Matthew 16:13-19 is different. It says: When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” It is not upon Peter, the rock, that Jesus built or builds His church, but rather it is upon the rock, the solid foundation, of the revelation that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Savior, Redeemer, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Almighty One) upon which Jesus builds His church.
Many are critical of the church today. Many, even who are followers of Jesus do not want to be known as being part of the church. Certainly the church today has become something different than the church that Jesus built and builds. The word which Jesus used, which is translated as church in Matthew 16, is the Greek word ekklesia. It is a group which is called out or called apart to rule and have authority. That is Jesus the church that Jesus built and builds. Look at the authority He says we, who know that He is the Christ, will have. He says the gates of Hades (Hell) will not stand against us. The gates of Hell are the spiritual entry ways for evil and darkness to come into and affect the physical, earthly realm. They are the entry ways of evil, sickness, disease, addiction, murder and every other form of darkness which affect us and those we love, into our world. Jesus says that we will have the ability, the authority to bind things on earth and in heaven and to loose things on earth and in heaven. We need to recognize and utilize the authority we have been given in Christ, binding the gates of Hell and loosing the realities of heaven on earth. We also need to recognize the tremendous responsibility which comes with the authority we have. Just as Adam and Eve lost the dominion they were given and all of creation was cursed, we, if we loose and bind the wrong things by our authority, can hinder rather than advance the kingdom of heaven on earth. Jesus taught us to pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That should be the result of our prayer and our authority; that earth would become like heaven.
In today’s text it also says: When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” That too, preaching the kingdom of God, should be the result and our response to the authority we have been given in Christ. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Being part of Jesus church, we too should be builders of His church.
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom
come. Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’