Morning Bible Study
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.
The name can either mean “village of comfort”, or “village of Nahum” (the
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
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
Video: Capernaum Synagogue
:32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with
:32 they were astonished at His teaching
astonished – ekplesso (“out”
+ “strike”) – to strike out, expel by a blow; to be struck with amazement,
I wonder sometimes if we lose that sense of astonishment, that sense of
“amazement” at Jesus?
:32 for His word was with authority
When Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, He ended with this:
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
Jesus spoke with authority from heaven.
If we’re not careful, we can be just like the “scribes”, those who have
lots of “words” but no real “authority”.
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
Doesn’t it seem kind of strange that a man with a demon inside him is in
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
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”.
: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.
: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.”
:37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding
:35 Jesus rebuked him
rebuked – epitimao – verbally
correcting someone or something
Jesus spoke to the demon, then ordered it to shut up and come out of the
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.
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.
The best way to deal with demons is to let Jesus do it. Even Michael the archangel let Jesus handle
(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
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
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
: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.
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
(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
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)
:38 she arose and served them
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
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…
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
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
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
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
Give God time each morning.
Read your Bible.
Ask God for your directions for the day.