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Luke 4:31-44

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 10, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing his book, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

After being baptized, Jesus spent time in the desert being tested by Satan.

He has now returned to the Galilee area, and in the synagogue at Nazareth, He declared that He was the Messiah.  The people of Nazareth rejected Him, and He moves on to Capernaum.

4:31-37 Synagogue Demon

:31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.

:31 Capernaum

The name can either mean “village of comfort”, or “village of Nahum” (the prophet).

Video:  Capernaum map clip

Capernaum was a flourishing city on the northwest shore of Galilee.
The Sea of Galilee lies in the Jordan River valley, located in the African Rift, and is actually 600 feet below sea level, hence He “went down” to it.

It was located on an ancient major trade route know by the Rome as Via Maris, or, “the way of the sea”.

Isaiah prophesied about this time of Jesus’ ministry here:

(Isaiah 9:1–2 NKJV) —1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles. 2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.

Jesus will spend more time in Capernaum than any other city.  It will become His “home base”.

:31 was teaching them on the Sabbaths

:31 was teachingdidasko – to teach; to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses; to be a teacher

It was the normal thing for Jewish people to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath (Saturday).  Jesus taught the people who came to the synagogue.

“Synagogue” is a Greek word, the people of Jesus’ day would call the place in Hebrew “Beit Knesset”.

The synagogue at Capernaum is a little bigger than the ones in Chorazim and Nazareth.

Video:  Capernaum Synagogue

:32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.

:32 they were astonished at His teaching

astonishedekplesso (“out” + “strike”) – to strike out, expel by a blow; to be struck with amazement, amazed

I wonder sometimes if we lose that sense of astonishment, that sense of “amazement” at Jesus?

Video:  Are You Amazed?

An example of His teaching that they were “astonished” by –

(Mark 10:23–27 NKJV) —23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Everyone expected that rich people would be in heaven, but Jesus taught differently.

It blew people away to hear things like this.

He didn’t teach what the people expected.

:32 for His word was with authority

authorityexousia – power of choice; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government

When Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, He ended with this:

(Matthew 7:24–29 NKJV) —24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 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.


Real Authority

If we’re not careful, we can be just like the “scribes”, those who have lots of “words” but no real “authority”. 
Video:  ER Running out of time
There are real answers.
There is a place to find forgiveness.
The authority is Jesus. 
He is the Son of God.
He alone can change people.

:33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,

:34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

:33 in the synagogue … an unclean demon

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

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

Doesn’t it seem kind of strange that a man with a demon inside him is in the synagogue?

Was this guy one of the regular attenders?
Was he a guy off the street?


A place for broken people

Some people have this notion that church is just for “nice people”.
They would consider church a “museum for the saints”.
In reality, church ought to be more like a “hospital for sinners”, for sick people.
In a hospital, you will find two kinds of people:

Sick people who need to get well.

Less sick people who function as doctors and nurses.

There is nobody in this room that is perfect.

Hopefully, if we’re doing church right, it’s a place where “sick” people can become “well”.

:34 What have we to do with You

The man possessed by a single demon is speaking in first person plural.

It could be that the “we” means the man and the demon.

It could be that he is trying to speak for all the people in the synagogue.

:34 I know who You are

In Ephesus, there were Jewish exorcists who were trying to cast a demon out of a person…

(Acts 19:13–15 NLT) —13 A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?”
Demons know all about who God is.

:35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

:35 Be quietphimoo – to close the mouth with a muzzle; make speechless, reduce to silence

:36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

:36 amazedthambos – to render immovable; amazement

:36 authorityexousia – power of choice; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government

:36 powerdunamis – strength, power, ability

:36 commandsepitasso – to enjoin upon, order, command, charge

:37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

:35 Jesus rebuked him

rebukedepitimao (“upon” + “value”) – verbally correcting someone or something

Jesus spoke to the demon, then ordered it to shut up and come out of the man.


Authority over demons

The demons tremble in the presence of Jesus.
(James 2:19 NLT) You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.
When Jesus commands a demon, it must obey.
(Matthew 28:18 NKJV) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
He has given this same authority to us as well.
(John 14:13–14 NKJV) —13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
When the apostles began their ministry in the book of Acts …
(Acts 5:16 NKJV) Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
The best way to deal with demons is to let Jesus do it.  Even Michael the archangel let Jesus handle Satan.
(Jude 9 NKJV) Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
A word of caution.
Some folks make the mistake of thinking that every illness, and every problem is due to demonic influence.

I wish life were this simple.

There are real troubles in life that aren’t due to demons.

There are real physical diseases that aren’t due to demons.

When you are sick, go to your doctor.

There are real mental illnesses that aren’t due to demons.

If you have a mental illness, be sure to see a professional.  Take your meds.  Work with your counselor.

4:38-39 Peter’s Mother-in-law

:38 Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.

:39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.

:38 and entered Simon’s house

Just outside the synagogue in Capernaum there are the ruins of houses dating back to the days of Jesus.

The house closest to the synagogue is most likely the house of the “ruler” of the synagogue, Jairus.  We’ll meet him and his sick daughter when we get to chapter 8.

(Luke 8:41 NKJV) —41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house,

A little further from the synagogue is a more modern structure that looks like a spaceship…

Video:  Capernaum Spaceship

:38 Simon’s wife’s mother

Peter was married.

The Roman Catholic tradition is that Simon Peter, the first “pope”, like all priests, was not married.

They will say that he might have been married, but his wife must have died and Peter was a widower.

Yet in Paul’s day, Peter was still married and even travelled with his wife.

(1 Corinthians 9:5 NKJV) Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?

:38 rebuked the fever

rebukedepitimao (“upon” + “value”) – verbally correcting someone or something

This is the same word used when Jesus rebuked the demon.

Jesus can rebuke a fever.
He can even rebuke the wind and waves (Mar. 4:39)
(Mark 4:39 NKJV) Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

:38 she arose and served them

serveddiakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon


Healed to serve

That’s what Jesus does for us – He is at work to make us “well”.
His goal is not to simply make nice statues of saints for the church “museum”.
His goal is to make us men and women who work with Him in the hospital – helping, healing, and serving others.
That is what a mom (or, mother-in-law) does…
Video:  Motherhood
We are healed so we can serve.

4:40-44 Galilee Ministry

:40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.

:40 When the sun was setting

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 sick with various diseases

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

variouspoikilos – 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

It wasn’t just one kind of disease that Jesus healed, says Dr. Luke.

:40 He laid His hands on every one of them

Jesus could have just saved some time and said “Be healed” and heal the entire crowd all at once.  But He didn’t.  He took time for each person.

:40 and healed them


He can heal anyone

There is nothing that Jesus cannot do.
The bigger question that most of us ask is, “Will He heal me?”
We came across an interesting verse in our study of Job –
(Job 13:15a NKJV) Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

We often hear people say, “Do you have enough faith to be healed?”

Perhaps a more difficult question is, “Do you have enough faith to NOT be healed?”

Jesus can heal anything and anyone.

But what if He chooses not to, at least not yet?

Will you still trust Him?

:41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.

:42 Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;

:43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”

:44 And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

:43 to the other cities also


Good or best?

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.
It’s important to find out the “best” thing we could be doing for God and not let all the “good” things keep us from doing the “best”.
An expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers, he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?” “No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?” One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!” “No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

Are you careful to make room in your life for the “best” things, or are you just filling it with “good” things?

:42 He departed and went into a deserted place



Mark gives us a few more details.
(Mark 1:35 NKJV) Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Jesus had spent a very busy day ministering to people.
He had taught that Saturday morning in the synagogue.
Later that day He was at Peter’s house and He healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
When word got out about Jesus, and soon that evening people from all over were bringing folks to Jesus.

He touched and healed each one.

If Jesus felt a need to spend time with God early in the morning, do you think it might be important if we do too?
I’d say that it’s possible that Jesus determined His priorities and decided He needed to move on to the other cities because of the time He had spent with God.
Give God time each morning.
Read your Bible.
Ask God for your directions for the day.