The Real Thing
Lord, I thank You for the gift of prayer, for the privilege of speaking with You and knowing You listen.
Read LUKE 4:31-44
 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.  They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.  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!”  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.  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!”  And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.  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.  So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.  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.  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.  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.  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.”  And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat great truth about Jesus did the demons recognize?
There is a sad irony in the amazement of these Galileans. All their lives they had been taught the Word of God but, apparently, not by people with authority (see also Matt. 7:29). For us, too, the word “authority” may summon up rather dull images of men behind desks signing papers.
In each of these seven paragraphs, however, the authority of Jesus is the striking thing, and nothing could be less dull. This is because, in Jesus’ life, there is a direct connection between theory and practice. Notice how the people ask, “What does this mean?” (36). What has amazed them is that evil spirits actually obey him and leave!
Here Jesus deals in the same conclusive way with spiritual wickedness and with physical sickness. Instead of trying to fully understand the distinction, we would do better by handing over to him all the bad things we encounter. Notice, also, how Jesus moves easily between large crowds and individuals. Simon’s mother-in-law has the Lord’s full, undivided attention, as do we when we bring our troubles to him.
Bring any troubles or problems to Jesus now in prayer, assured that you will have his full and undivided attention.
Ask God to give you today a fresh sense of Jesus’ authority and energy which are available for him to use in your life.
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