09 Luke 4.31-44
From 1643 to 1715 there was no greater authority in France than Louis XIV. Under his rule, France prospered and suffered like it had never done before. There are just a handful of monarchs that have ever lived that ruled with such total power and authority as that of Louis XIV.
King Louis ruled in a time when people thought that their monarch’s authority came by divine appointment and he lived that out. He lived in such opulence that he was given the nickname “the Sun King.”
His rule was absolute. Whatever he said was carried out. Once when questioned about the limits of his power and authority, he responded, “L'état, c'est moi” when translated means “I am the state.”
Louis flaunted his authority his whole life. However that all came to an end in 1715 when Louis XIV died. His funeral was as spectacular as his life. His body lay in a golden coffin. To dramatize the his deceased greatness, orders had been given that the cathedral should be very dimly lit and that a lone candle be placed above his coffin. Thousands waited in silence for the funeral to begin.
Bishop Massilon was given the privilege of preaching the funeral sermon. As he stepped up beside the coffin, he slowly reached down and snuffed out the candle. A sense of shock and hush fell over the crowd. Massilon looked up and spoke a 4 word sermon, “Only God is great”
By stating those 4 words, Massilon let the people know what the truth was. Louis XIV was just a man with no divine power. He was not the state, he was not God. His authority was gone!
v He was also putting forth another truth…
Ø True power and authority resides in God alone
v In our Scripture today, Luke puts Power and Authority on display through the incarnate God, Jesus Christ
v The first hint of Authority we see is in…
V. 31-32 ~ Jesus Teaching Authority
v V. 32 ~ “They were amazed at His teaching because His message had authority”
Ø RQ: Why did Jesus’ preaching & teaching have authority?
§ He taught First Hand
· Explain how teaching was done
¨ Prophets said, “Thus sayeth the Lord…”
¨ Rabbis said, “There is a saying…”
¨ Jesus said, “I say to you…”
Ø I want you to notice as we go through the Gospel of Luke how many times Jesus uses the first person pronoun
§ Lk 6:9 ~ Healing on the Sabbath
· “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath…”
§ Lk 6:27 ~ Lukan sermon on the mount
· “I tell you who hear me…”
§ LK 28 ~ Jesus teaching about John the Baptist
· “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John…”
§ Lk 7:40 ~ Annointed by woman in Parisees house
· “Simon, I have something to tell you…”
¨ Jesus does not ask what the Scripture teach…
Ø He tells them
§ Claims authority equal to and sometimes greater than the Bible!
· If you hear anyone doing anything remotely like this today…
¨ Run, don’t walk, away from that person!
Secondly, the people recognized Jesus’ Authority because…
§ It is rooted in the Word
· Remember Jesus’ first sermon
¨ Came right from Isaiah 61:1-2
· He did this again and again
¨ Lk 6 ~ Sermon on the Mount
Ø Straight from Deuteronomy
¨ Lk 7 ~ Jesus teaching from Malachi 3
¨ Lk 8 ~ We see Jesus teaching from Isa 9
¨ During His 3 year ministry…
Ø We find Jesus quoting from every book in the OT except Esther
§ The son of God found it important to preach and teach from the Scriptures…
· Why doesn’t the 21st century church!
§ We are in a sad state today
· Churches are not preaching from the Word of God
A preacher once confided to his head deacon that he was troubled at how few of the church members showed up for any given service. The deacon, a faithful farmhand who never missed a service, reflected on the years he had listened to his preacher's sermons and then replied: "Well, Preacher, if you pour only water into the feeding trough, the hogs don't come around to feed too often.”
Ø Our problem is even worse than that!
§ In so many pulpits, unedifying water is being poured and the people come and drink it as if it were milk and meat!
· So many pastors just use the Bible as a springboard to talk on what they want to talk about
¨ Sunday morning sermons have deteriorated into story-time, newspaper philosophy and personal soapboxes
Ø Our postmodern culture is not interested in reasoned Biblical doctrine anymore
§ If the church is to have any authority today, it must teach on the authority of God’s holy Word
Thirdly, Jesus’ teaching was authoritative because…
§ It is Challenging
· Star Trek (Scottie)
¨ Matter and anti-matter = explosion
· Same is true spiritually
¨ Whenever righteousness and unrighteousness come in contact with each other, there is bound to be a spiritual explosion
· Whenever the pure teaching of the Bible is taught
¨ And it comes in contact with a depraved mind
Ø The depraved mind is challenged
§ Amy Carmicheal
· “If you have never been hurt by a word from God, it is probable that you have never heard God speak.”
¨ When you or I are listening to a sermon that is Scripturally rooted and something is said
Ø That strikes us…
Ø That challenges us…
Ø That we don’t agree with…
Ø Or that we plain just don’t like
§ I challenge all of us to sit back and reflect…
· Ask the question…
¨ Is this God’s truth bringing light into a dark part of my mind?
Ø 2 Cor 10:5
§ we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ
· Our mind does not want to be obedient to Christ’s teaching
Ø We must allow God to be the authority in all aspects of our life
v We not only see Jesus’ Authority manifest in His teaching…
Ø In verses 33-37 we see…
V. 33-37 ~ Jesus’ Spiritual Authority
Ø READ V. 33-37
v RQ: Do you believe in the Spiritual realm?
Ø Movies like The Exorcist dupe us into thinking the demon activity and possession are Hollywood storylines
§ Supernatural fantasy
· And that causes us to read texts like this with skepticism
Ø But the Bible tells us quite frankly how real it is
§ Ephesians 6:12
· For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms
¨ And that is as true today as it was 2,000 years ago
Dick Hillis, a missionary to china starting in 1938, was preaching in a Chinese village one day when his sermon was suddenly interrupted by a piercing cry. Everyone rushed toward the scream, and Dick's coworker, Mr. Kong, whispered that an evil spirit had seized a man. "That is heathen superstition," said Dick, who had not previously encountered demon possession.
A woman pushed through the crowd toward them. "I beg you help me!" she cried. "An evil spirit has possessed my husband and is trying to kill him."
Kong stepped over a filthy old dog lying in the doorway and faced the madman. "An evil spirit has possessed Farmer Ho," Kong told the onlookers. "Our God, the 'Nothing-He-Cannot-Do One' is more powerful than any spirit, and He can deliver this man. First, you must promise you will bum your idols and trust in Jesus, son of the Supreme Emperor." The people nodded.
"Now," continued Kong, "in the name of Jesus we will command the evil spirit to leave this man:' Kong began praying fervently. Suddenly, the old dog in the doorway vaulted into the air, screeching, yelping, and snapping wildly at his tail. Kong continued praying, and the dog abruptly dropped over dead. Dick Hillis immediately thought of Luke 8, where Jesus sent the demons into the heard of pigs.
As Kong finished praying, Farmer Ho seemed quiet and relaxed, and soon he was strong enough to burn his idols. At his baptism shortly afterward, he testified, "I was possessed by an evil spirit who boasted he had already killed five people and was going to kill me. But God sent Mr. Kong at just the right moment, and because of Jesus’ power and authority, I am free."
RQ: If you were Mr. Kong, would you have the same confidence in the authority of Jesus? Do we really believe, as Mr. Kong did, that we serve a “nothing-he-cannot-do” God?
v Yet Jesus is shown here as having complete spiritual authority over the demon
Ø V. 35 ~ Jesus said to the demon, “Be quiet, come out of him!”
§ And Luke tells us that the people were amazed at this
· Usually exorcism consisted of lengthy incantations, grandiose gestures and bizarre acts
¨ But with Jesus, it was 4 brief authoritative words…
Ø “Come out of him.”
Lastly, Luke puts before us…
V. 38-40 ~ Jesus’ Physical Authority
v READ v. 38-40
v In the remake of “Miracle on 34th street” the little girl sends a note to the lawyer defending Chris Kringle in court
Ø The note had 3 little words on it…
§ “Do you believe”
Ø Q: Do you believe in the miracle of healing?
§ Here, through Jesus’ authority over the physical realm, he heals Peter’s mother-in-law with a single word
Ø But what about today? Does God still have the authority and power to heal?
Joni Eareckson Tada, paralyzed from the neck down in a swimming accident, wrote in a best-selling book about her experiences. Afterward, she received many calls and letters telling her that God had both the power and the desire to heal her. She became convinced of it and, in a little oak chapel near her home, several elders and ordained ministers anointed her head with olive oil and offered fervent, believing prayers for her healing. She fully expected God to heal her.
"A week went by," she later wrote, "then another, then another. My body still hadn't gotten the message that I was healed. Fingers and toes still didn't respond to the mental command.
"You can image the questions that began popping into my mind. Is there some sin in my life? . . . Had we done things right? . . . Did I have enough faith? Joni spent the next six years searching in the Bible for answers about divine healing, finally coming to this conclusion:
"God certainly can, and sometimes does, heal people in miraculous ways today. But the Bible does not teach that He will always heal those who come to Him in faith. He sovereignly reserves the right to heal or not to heal as He sees fit:'
"From time to time God, in His mercy, may grant us healing from disease as a gracious glimpse, a 'sneak preview' of what is to come. It is my opinion that He sometimes does. But, in view of the fact that the kingdom has not yet come in its fullness, we are not to automatically expect it.
v I think that this is a very Biblical approach toward healing
Ø There is a lot of Christian craziness surrounding healing
§ The most damaging of which tells us that…
· If you have enough faith, you will be healed!
¨ How harmful that erroneous doctrine is!
v Let’s get something straight…
Ø Jesus can still heal anyone He wants with but a single word
§ But physical healing is not Jesus primary concern
· It is spiritual healing
One of the most famous musicians of the nineteenth-century was a self-taught Norwegian violinist named Ole Bull (1810-1880). He was a composer and artist of amazing skill who toured Europe and America with enormous success. During his lifetime, he was the world's most renowned violinist.
But he wasn't known by everyone. One day while traveling in the forests of Europe, he became lost and in the dark of night stumbled upon a log hut, the home of a hermit. The old man took him in, fed and warmed him, and after supper they sat in front of a blazing fireplace and the old hermit picked some crude tunes on his screechy, battered violin.
"Do you think I could play on that?" asked Ole Bull.
"I don't think so;' replied the hermit. "It took me years to learn:'
Ole Bull replied, "Let me try:' Taking the old marred violin, he drew the bow across the strings and suddenly the hermit's hut was filled with music so beautiful the hermit sobbed like a child.
We are battered instruments; life's strings have been snapping; life's bow has been bent. Yet if we will only let Him take us and touch us, from this old battered, broken, shattered, marred instrument, He will bring forth music fit for the angels!
v Physical healing
§ We are given the mandate in Scripture to pray for the sick
· To lay hands on the infirm
· James even tells us to call the elders and anoint the sick with oil
¨ But does that guarantee healing?
v What it does do is show our dependence…
Ø Our trust in…
Ø Our faith in…
§ The power and authority of the one who can
Ø Let’s pray that we all believe in and depend on the power and authority of Jesus Christ
v Miracles point to deeper realties
Ø Of who Jesus is…
§ John 20:30-31
· Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name
¨ John picked 7 signs
Ø Water to wine
Ø Healing of the official’s son
Ø Healing the blind man at the pool
Ø Feeding of the 5,000
Ø Walks on water
Ø Healing man born blind
Ø Lazarus’ resurrection
Ø Of who we are to become
Ø Spiritual healing
v We have seen here that Jesus has the power and Authority to teach, exorcise and heal
Ø But His authority goes even beyond that!
§ Jesus has the authority to forgive
· To Judge
· To empower
Ø But the greatest authority that Jesus has is to…
§ Give life
· READ John 17:1-2
¨ Jesus Christ has the authority to give eternal life
v Most people when they think of demon possession think of the movie The Exorcist
Ø If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m sure you have seen clips or pictures
§ Demon possession depicted as sick, grotesque-looking, vomiting, cursing, etc
§ It is also something that happens in dark back alley’s and third world countries
· Not here, not in the daylight, not in church!
¨ But that is exactly what we have depicted here
Ø A man in a synagogue
§ A Church-goer!
· You would never know by looking at him
Ø This shows us an important truth
§ There is no place that a demon cannot go except the believer’s heart
· We call this a sanctuary
¨ Movies depict that a church is a safe place, place of refuge
Ø Bible tells us differently
§ The Garden of Eden was not safe from the serpent
§ The tabernacle
§ Temple desecrated
Ø The only place that Satan and his minions are forbidden to enter is the heart of a believer
§ 2 Cor 1:22 ~ He has anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Christ has set His Seal of ownership on us
· Seal like that of an king
¨ Wax with king’s insignia
Ø No one may open until it reaches its destination
§ That is what the Holy Spirit ensures
· That we make it to our heavenly destination!
· Immediately she got up and started serving them
¨ Aside: what a picture of our reaction to our spiritual healing
Ø Jesus heals us of our sinful nature with but a word…faith
Ø He asks nothing of us
§ Our reaction to this healing should be to immediately serve our Lord and savior
v In our text, the demon tries to gain authority over Jesus by calling him by name
Ø V. 34 ~ “I know who you are - the holy one of God”
§ There was a belief that if you knew someone by name, you had power over them
· The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin built on this
¨ Ged, a powerful wizard in training
Ø Wizard’s power was in knowing the “secret name” of things
§ Thus can control that which you named