7615 - Authority Over Spirits

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Jesus demonstrated that he had authority over spirits and sickness.

Today we are searching Luke 4:31-40 (edit: not verse 41). Let me read those verses:
Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.

In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, "Ha! 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!"

"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.

All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!" And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the house of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.


In this passage we see displayed the authority of Jesus over the spirit world.

In Jesus’ day, people accepted the reality of the spirit world and recognized their work more clearly than we do today. In this age of scientific knowledge our eyes have been blinded to some of His eternal, absolute truths.

Jesus was different from other teachers. He taught from strength. He possessed the dynamics of the Holy Spirit and the Father God who lived in and through Him; even as obedient Christians today, by the grace of God, have abiding within them Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus taught, the message shared had the ring of authenticity and power. People were amazed and recognized the authority with which he spoke.

There in the synagogue was a man possessed by a demon. In Scripture we notice that demon spirits get nervous and restless when Jesus comes on the scene.

This relates to the fact that these demon spirits know Jesus. They know who He is. They know that He has power. They know that judgment has been given to Jesus. They know at the end they will be thrown into the lake of fire, the place of eternal torment. There they will join their leader, the devil.

Many people believe that the lake of fire is a place prepared for sinful, unrepentant men and women; but in Matthew (25:41) Jesus told the people that the eternal fire was prepared for the devil and his angels. These powerful spiritual forces are the enemies of goodness, truth and righteousness, which work against believers every day – all day.

One warning note though – although the lake of fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, people who resist God and refuse the gift of eternal life which is offered through Jesus Christ will also end up there after the final judgment. It is horrible to realize that those people who go to hell will be there by their own choice.

There in the synagogue a demon cried out in the presence of Jesus. They knew he was the Holy One of God. They associated Him with their final destruction. It seems they were afraid that Jesus would send them to torment that very day.

Then Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the man. Those in the Temple could hear this exchange. The demon had to obey the authority of Jesus. The demon threw the man to the floor and exited as commanded without injuring him.

This was the thing that impressed the people. They were awed and talked among themselves about Jesus who wielded such power. And the news spread quickly.

Just a reminder, this is not the only time Jesus released a possessed individual. Throughout our continued study of Luke we will see that the authority of Jesus extended over illness, disease and injury; over sin and the spiritual world; over nature, matter and death. Jesus is God.