Luke 4:31-44

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

August 16, 2000


Jesus has begun His ministry.  He has been to Nazareth, His hometown, where He did not do many miracles because of their unbelief.

:31-44  One day at Capernaum

:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.

CapernaumKapernaoum – “village of comfort"; a flourishing city of Galilee situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee or Lake of Gennesaret, near the place where the Jordan flows into the lake.  In a way, this became Jesus’ “home base”, where He spent more time than anywhere else.

taughtdidasko – to teach; to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses; to be a teacher

:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

astonishedekplesso (“out” + “strike”) – to strike out, expel by a blow, drive out or away; to be struck with amazement, astonished, amazed; to be struck with terror, of a sudden and startling alarm.  It seems to me that this isn’t just a surfer claiming to be “blown away” by some cool thing, but something a bit more serious.  The word is used 13 times in the New Testament, all but one time being used to describe how the people were “astonished” at Jesus’ teaching and miraculous power.  The only exception is in Acts 13:13, when the proconsul watched Paul curse and blind the magician Elymas and was “astonished” at Paul’s ministry.

powerexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; physical and mental power; the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)

The word seems to speak of power, including power over sickness and demons.

Mr 1:27  And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine [is] this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
(Mark 3:14-15 KJV)  And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, {15} And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

The word also carries the idea of “authority” –

Mt 8:9  For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this [man], Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth [it].
(Mark 11:27-28 KJV)  And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, {28} And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

Jesus’ power and authority was unlike anything the people had been used to –

(Mat 7:28-29 KJV)  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: {29} For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Typically, when the other rabbi’s taught, they spent the entire time quoting one rabbi or another, not really having anything to say for themselves.  Jesus spoke with authority from heaven.


Get them to Jesus.

If we’re not careful, we can be just like the “scribes”, those who have lots of “words” but no “power”.  The power is in Jesus.  He can change people.

:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

uncleanakathartos – not cleansed, unclean; in a ceremonial sense: that which must be abstained from according to the levitical law; in a moral sense: unclean in thought and life

devildaimonion – a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

cried outanakrazo – to raise a cry from the depth of the throat, to cry out

It’s a little interesting that this demon-possessed man was in the synagogue.  Could it have been one of the regular synagogue members?  Was it just a guy who had wandered in off the street?

:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us?

what have we - the demon is speaking in the first person plural.

to destroyapollumi – to destroy; to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin; render useless; to kill; metaph. to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell; to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed

:34  I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

The demons know who Jesus is.

(James 2:19 NLT)  Do you still think it's enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!

:35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

rebukedepitimao – to show honour to, to honour; to raise the price of; to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely; to admonish or charge sharply

hold thy peacephimoo – to close the mouth with a muzzle, to muzzle; metaph. to stop the mouth, make speechless, reduce to silence; to become speechless; to be kept in check

thrownrhipto – to cast, throw; throw down; to cast forward or before; to set down (with the suggestion of haste and want of care); to throw to the ground, prostrate; with violent meaning,  to fling, throw, hurl off or down.

hurtblapto – to hurt, harm, injure.  Luke the doctor makes a note that the man wasn’t hurt.

There were Jewish exorcists in that day.  They had all sorts of elaborate rituals for the casting out of demons.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.  Jesus only had to speak to the demons and they left.


His authority.

We too have been given authority over demons.
(John 14:12 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
(Mark 16:17 KJV)  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
(Acts 5:16 KJV)  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
(Acts 8:7 KJV)  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
Let Jesus do the rebuking.
(Jude 1:9 KJV)  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

:36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

amazedthambos – to render immovable; amazement

authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; authority … same as in verse 32.

powerdunamis – strength, power, ability

commandethepitasso – to enjoin upon, order, command, charge

:37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

fameechos – a sound, noise; spoken of the roar of the sea waves; rumour, report

:38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.

wife’s motherpenthera – mother-in-law, a wife’s mother

Simon Peter was married.  The first “pope” was married, unlike Catholic priests.

Some would say that Peter’s wife died and he went on as a widower.  But Paul said that Peter was still married –

1Co 9:5  Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and [as] the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

taken withsunecho – to hold together; to hold together with constraint, to compress; to press on every side; to hold completely; to hold fast

greatmegas – great; used of intensity and its degrees: with great effort, of the affections and emotions of the mind, of natural events powerfully affecting the senses: violent, mighty, strong

feverpuretos – fiery heat; fever

Luke’s choice of words here is demonstrating that he is a doctor.

besoughterotao – to question; to ask; to request, entreat, beg, beseech

forperi – about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near



Ask the Lord concerning the needs of others.

:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

stoodephistemi – to place at, place upon, place over; to stand by, be present; to stand over one, place one’s self above

overepano – above

rebukedepitimao – to show honour to, to honour; to raise the price of; to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely; to admonish or charge sharply.  Same word used in verse 35, where Jesus rebuked a demon.

Jesus rebukes an inanimate object, just as He will rebuke the wind and the waves.

Lu 8:24  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

feverpuretos – fiery heat; fever

it leftaphiemi – to send away; to bid going away or depart; to let go, let alone, let be; to let go, give up a debt, forgive; to leave, go way from one

immediatelyparachrema – immediately, forthwith, instantly

ministereddiakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon; to minister to one, render ministering offices to; to be served, ministered unto; to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests,; of women preparing food; in Christian churches to serve as deacons; to minister

Often a person who has had a fever for a long time will be weak from their illness. Peter’s mother-in-law was not only cured of her fever, but her strength was restored as well. 

:40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him;

sickastheneo – to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless; to be weak in means, needy, poor; to be feeble, sick

diverspoikilos – a various colours, variegated; of various sorts

Not just one kind of disease, but all different kinds of diseases.  Perhaps not just physical diseases either.

diseasesnosos – disease, sickness

The crowd showed up as the sun set probably because this meant that the Sabbath was over, and it was not considered “work” to carry a sick person.

:40 and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

laidepitithemi – in the active voice  to put or lay upon; to add to

every one – the picture is of Jesus stopping to gently touch and heal each individual person. 

healedtherapeuo – to serve, do service; to heal, cure, restore to health


Individual touch

Could Jesus have just saved some time and said “Be healed” and heal the entire crowd all at once?  Sure.  But He didn’t.  He took time for each person.
I like to figure out ways of saving time and doing things en masse.  If I’m making sandwiches for the entire family, I’ll lay out all the bread and spread all the mayonnaise on at once.  But we need to be careful that we don’t treat people like that.  Touch the individual.  Jesus does.

:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

came outexerchomai – to go or come forth of; of those who are expelled or cast out

crying outkrazo – to croak; hence, to cry out, cry aloud, vociferate; to cry or pray for vengeance; cry out aloud, speak with a loud voice

rebukingepitimao – to show honour to, to honour; to raise the price of; to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely; to admonish or charge sharply

sufferedeao – to allow, permit, let; to allow one to do as he wishes, not to restrain, to let alone; to give up, let go, leave

Why did Jesus turn down the free publicity?

He refused to receive “publicity” from demons.

:42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place:

deserteremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited

He went to find a place to be alone.


Spend time with God.

Mark gives us a few more details.
Mr 1:35  And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Jesus had spent a very busy day ministering to people.  What was the thing He needed to do most?  If it was me, I would have thought about sleeping in, or reading the newspaper, or watching TV.  But Jesus prayed.

:42  and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.

peopleochlos – a crowd; a casual collection of people; a throng; a multitude

stayed himkatecho – to hold back, detain, retain; from going away; to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of)

These people were enjoying the personal ministry of Jesus Christ.  Of course they didn’t want Him to leave.

:43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

preacheuaggelizo – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings; in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation

am I sentapostello – to order (one) to go to a place appointed

(Luke 4:43 NASB)  …for I was sent for this purpose."


Stay the course, do God’s will.

There are lots of “good” things that can get in the way of the “best”.  If Jesus had stayed at Capernaum, it would have been a “good” thing.  But He needed to keep moving on in order to do the “best” that God had for Him.

Moses had brought the people out of Egypt and had become God’s spokesman to the people.  Every time they had a question or a dispute to be solved, they would come to Moses.  Pretty soon, the needs of 2 million people became overwhelming.

(Exo 18:17-18 NASB)  And Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you are doing is not good. {18} "You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.

Was it a good thing that Moses was helping the people?  Yes.  But it wasn’t the “best” thing. 

:44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

preachedkerusso – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed; used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers