GOSPEL READING: Luke 4:31-37
31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37 And reports of him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
Meditation: When you listen to the word of God in Scripture how do you respond to it? Do you hear it with indifference, selective submission, or with the full assent of faith and obedience? When Jesus taught he spoke with authority. He spoke the word of God as no one had spoken it before. When the Rabbis taught they supported their statements with quotes from other authorities. The prophets spoke with delegated authority – Thus says the Lord. When Jesus spoke he needed no authorities to back his statements. He was authority incarnate – the Word of God made flesh. When he spoke, God spoke. When he commanded even the demons obeyed.
God’s Word is alive and active
Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD), in his commentary on this passage from the Gospel of Luke, tells us that Jesus had all power and authority to heal every sickness and expel every demonic power because he was the living and active Word of God the Father (John 1:14 and Hebrews 4:12):
The bystanders, witnesses of such great deeds, were astonished at the power of his word. He performed his miracles, without offering up a prayer, asking no one else at all for the power to accomplish them. Since he is the living and active Word of God the Father, by whom all things exist, and in whom all things are, in his own person he crushed Satan and closed the profane mouth of impure demons. [Commentary on Luke, Homily 12].
God’s Word has power to set us free
God’s living and abiding Word is truth and life and it has power to set us free from every sin and oppression and bring us healing of body, mind, and spirit. If the demons, the fallen angels, were able to recognize the power and authority of Jesus, the Son of God, how much more should we recognize and believe in the power and authority of the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ, and entrust our lives to the Lord Jesus?
God’s Word produces life and freedom for us
The Lord Jesus speaks his life-giving Word to us each and every day so that we may walk in the freedom of his love and truth. If we approach the Word of God with meekness and humility, and with an eagerness to do everything the Lord desires, we are in a much better position to learn what God wants to teach us through his word. Are you ready to follow the Lord Jesus and to conform your life according to his word?
Lord Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life. May I never doubt your saving love and mercy, and the power of your word to bring healing, restoration, and freedom from every sin and oppression.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD!
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: New creation begins on the Sabbath, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.
“He describes the works of divine healing begun on the sabbath day, to show from the outset that the new creation began where the old creation ceased. He showed us that the Son of God is not under the law but above the law, and that the law will not be destroyed but fulfilled (Matthew 5:17). For the world was not made through the law but by the Word, as we read: ‘By the Word of the Lord were the heavens established’ (Psalm 33:6). Thus the law is not destroyed but fulfilled, so that the renewal of humankind, already in error, may occur. The apostle too says, ‘Stripping yourselves of the old man, put on the new, who was created according to Christ’ (Colossians 3:9-10, Ephesians 4:22,24). He fittingly began on the sabbath, that he may show himself as Creator. He completed the work that he had already begun by weaving together works with works. (excerpt from EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 4.58)