Sunday 5 November 2023

Luke 4:31-37

31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.

33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! 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!”

35 “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.

36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Reading passages like this I am always in awe of Jesus’ power and authority – his cool-headedness under pressure. A demon is screaming at him (speaking the truth about Jesus, by the way) yet Jesus doesn’t flinch, and calmly but decisively extracts the awful demon out of the poor man. My mind always protests and says I could never do that – I could never have that kind of cool-headedness, that authority. Yet Jesus reminds me, to my astonishment, that actually, “you will do greater things than these” (see John 14:12).

I wonder if the key to me stepping up into the authority and power of Jesus is the motivation of love for others. Luke, ever the physician, makes note of the fact that the demon came out of the man, “without causing him any harm.” Isn’t that just SO like Jesus – using his authority and power to rescue and liberate someone, freeing them from any harm? I must do the same for those around me. And the motivation to get me past my own insecurities is love and care for the person who, in Jesus name, needs liberation from evil so desperately.

Jesus, please come into my life in greater authority and power – so I can “do the greater things” you are calling me to do, for the sake of those in need around me. Help me take not one slither of credit but always, always direct all glory to you. You are the great healer and comforter – and I’m just glad to be your servant.


Written by B van Noppen

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