What Is Going On Here?
Mighty God, I thank You for Your Word. May I speak its truth in love and embody its truth with integrity.
Read LUKE 4:31-37
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I stand amazed in the presence / Of Jesus the Nazarene” (Charles H Gabriel, 1856-1932). Let the authority of Jesus’ presence overwhelm you.
In Capernaum, Jesus begins his ministry of teaching and healing, and in this section Luke introduces both, selecting examples from the many things Jesus did in order to highlight the effect that they had on those who witnessed them. Don’t let the familiarity of these words take away their force.
The people were stunned (a more literal translation than the NIV’s “amazed,” 32). It was usual for a rabbi to cite all sorts of authorities to support his interpretation. Jesus spoke directly. There was no need for him to trawl the sacred writings. He already had the very power the devil had promised to him in the desert: authority. He could speak on his own authority because of his relationship with the Father. His teaching, which we have in the gospels, should stun us too.
His miracles had a similar effect on those who witnessed them. I remember, in my own church, when someone walked into the morning service and began throwing chairs around. (It was superbly handled by the ushers.) Our chief concern was to get the person out before anyone was hurt and to allow the service to proceed. What happened in the synagogue (33) was different. The man who caused the commotion recognized who Jesus was. Rather than getting him out of the synagogue, Jesus confronted him. He did not do what other exorcists would have done, using incantations and invoking spiritual powers. He spoke to him directly. The people were amazed (a different word from that used in verse 32, this one used in particular when people witnessed an unusual, particularly a supernatural, event). “What is going on here?” was their question (36, The Message; or “What words these are!” NIV; the Greek word logos has many meanings and both translations are possible). The big question for us is just that: What is going on here?
What strikes you most about the behavior of the evil spirit? How has Jesus’ authority grabbed your attention recently? How is his authority bringing freedom to you?
Again, Lord, I allow the spirit of the age to influence me. All around me, authority is challenged. I pray for a humble spirit to embrace Your authority.
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