Faithlife Sermons

1 April 2017 — Majestad y autoridad

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 4 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
We all have pictures in our minds of individuals who epitomize authority: Perhaps Winston Churchill, his jowls set like a bulldog as he faces the falling darkness of the Third Reich, or take-charge Vince Lombardi in black coat and hat as he instructs his quarterback Bart Starr, or perfectly coiffed Margaret Thatcher calmly addressing a noisy House of Commons, or confident General Norman Schwarzkopf, dressed in camouflage fatigues, pointer in hand, as he holds court on the strategy of war.
We all have pictures in our minds of individuals who epitomize authority: Perhaps Winston Churchill, his jowls set like a bulldog as he faces the falling darkness of the Third Reich, or take-charge Vince Lombardi in black coat and hat as he instructs his quarterback Bart Starr, or perfectly coiffed Margaret Thatcher calmly addressing a noisy House of Commons, or confident General Norman Schwarzkopf, dressed in camouflage fatigues, pointer in hand, as he holds court on the strategy of war.
The reason there was such a crowd was that the Pope was in Galilee. He was making an official visit to the Holy Land, and Roman Catholic pilgrims from all over the world, many of whom were there for the first time, had come to be with him, particularly at a huge service up on the hill a little way north of the sea of Galilee. Our own little party were not put out. As someone said, it made it a bit more like what happened once word got out that Jesus was in town.
But they didn’t have to bring pilgrims in by public transport, even if such a thing had existed in those days. People came in a hurry, because Jesus began doing remarkable healings. The little town of Capernaum, a fishing village on the north shore of the sea of Galilee, had never seen anything like it. Jesus had evidently decided to make it his base of operations, after he’d left Nazareth. It was where the two pairs of brothers, Peter and Andrew, and James and John, had their homes and their small fishing businesses.
We all have pictures in our minds of individuals who epitomize authority: Perhaps Winston Churchill, his jowls set like a bulldog as he faces the falling darkness of the Third Reich, or take-charge Vince Lombardi in black coat and hat as he instructs his quarterback Bart Starr, or perfectly coiffed Margaret Thatcher calmly addressing a noisy House of Commons, or confident General Norman Schwarzkopf, dressed in camouflage fatigues, pointer in hand, as he holds court on the strategy of war.
You can still walk into the ruined synagogue there, where some of Jesus’ first remarkable healings took place. The buildings you can see date from some while after Jesus’ time, but it’s the correct site and you can get a sense of it all: a small town, gathering in its main public meeting-place. (Synagogues were used for public gatherings as well as what we think of as ‘worship’; indeed, for a loyal Jew worship and community were and are so intertwined that it’s hard to imagine the one without the other.) That’s where we find Jesus’ first encounter with a shrieking, yelling, demon-possessed man.
Many people in the modern world don’t believe in demons. They are inclined to say that this sort of thing was simply a medical condition that people hadn’t diagnosed in Jesus’ day. Many others, however, in several parts of today’s world know only too well that strange forces seem able to invade a personality, so that the person talks with a strange voice and has a peculiar, one might say haunted, look in the eye. It’s more than just an illness of the mind, though some of the signs are similar. And sometimes people in that condition do seem to know things that nobody else does.
Each image is instructive and worthy of study. But for the Christian, the greatest study in authority is of course the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the fountain of all authority and the well from which all believers must draw for the proper use of authority in the church and in this fallen world.
Whatever we say about such a condition, there is no historical doubt that Jesus dramatically healed a good many people who were regarded as ‘possessed’. Such cures were not unusual. Elsewhere in the gospels, and in Acts, we find mention of exorcists working from within Judaism. But the strange thing about Jesus, here and elsewhere, is that he did what he did by simple commands. No magic formulae; no (what we would call) mumbo-jumbo. He just told the spirits to go, and they went. That was what astonished people. He didn’t have to summon up stronger powers than his own; he just used the authority he already possessed in himself. And, as this passage makes clear, he did the same with ‘ordinary’ diseases as well, like the raging fever of Simon’s mother-in-law.
Having recounted how Jesus’ initial exercise of authority was murderously rejected by his hometown, Luke now describes another Sabbath in another town, Capernaum, where Jesus’ authority was given full recognition.
Once again Luke wants us to recognize what all this is saying about Jesus. Those with special insight can see behind his work and teaching, where he appeared to most people as a prophet. He was ‘the son of God’, here in the sense of ‘the Messiah’. He was God’s anointed. The Lord’s Spirit was indeed resting on him, as he said at Nazareth, to release the oppressed, to give sight to the blind, to unloose the chains of the prisoners.
Jesus’ message from the very first was “the good news of the kingdom of God” (v. 43). That storied day in Nazareth when he took up the scroll of Isaiah and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor,” El Espíritu del Señor está sobre mí, Por cuanto me ha ungido para dar buenas nuevas a los pobres he was preaching the kingdom of God. His emphasis on the poor, the prisoners, cautivos the blind, ciegos and the oppressed oprimidos was an implicit summary of the humble spiritual state of those to whom the kingdom comes. But Jesus’ insistence upon this sense of spiritual inadequacy so enraged the self-satisfied Nazareth congregation that they attempted to kill him.
Though Capernaum was his base of operations, he spent most of his time on the move. This may have been partly for the sake of the village itself; it couldn’t have sustained having more and more people come there for healing. Some have suggested that Jesus didn’t want to risk people setting up a kind of local industry around him. But the main reason is that he had to go to where other people were. He had to tell people that God was becoming king in a new way, that God’s long-awaited salvation was breaking into the world, even though it didn’t look like they had expected it would. And in doing this he had to stay one jump ahead of the authorities. It isn’t too long before we find opposition following him. Crowds and healings, powerful teaching about God’s kingdom: many found it threatening then, and many find it threatening still.
El Espíritu del Señor está sobre mí,
Jesus’ message from the very first was “the good news of the kingdom of God” (v. 43). That storied day in Nazareth when he took up the scroll of Isaiah and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor,” he was preaching the kingdom of God. His emphasis on the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed was an implicit summary of the humble spiritual state of those to whom the kingdom comes. But Jesus’ insistence upon this sense of spiritual inadequacy so enraged the self-satisfied Nazareth congregation that they attempted to kill him.
Por cuanto me ha ungido para dar buenas nuevas a los pobres
Reina Valera Revisada (1960). (1998). (). Miami: Sociedades Bı́blicas Unidas.he was preaching the kingdom of God. His emphasis on the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed was an implicit summary of the humble spiritual state of those to whom the kingdom comes. But Jesus’ insistence upon this sense of spiritual inadequacy so enraged the self-satisfied Nazareth congregation that they attempted to kill him.
Happily, the synagogue attenders in Capernaum had a different response. Instead of being scandalized by his kingdom teaching, they were amazed at his authority. Able to work in this congenial climate, he showed his authority and power by delivering a poor man from an evil spirit. There is grim poetry here because the foul spirit (notwithstanding his hatred of Jesus) confessed who Jesus was—“the Holy One of God!”—a confession that Jesus’ hometown would not make.
In Capernaum the mighty kingdom power of Jesus showed itself and then began to move out in ever-widening circles—first to those closest to him, then to the townspeople, and then to the nation and, implicitly, to the world.
Jesus’ Authority in Teaching (vv. 31, 32)
Luke 4:31–32 RVR60
Descendió Jesús a Capernaum, ciudad de Galilea; y les enseñaba en los días de reposo. Y se admiraban de su doctrina, porque su palabra era con autoridad.
Jesus’ Authority in Teaching (vv. 31, 32)
Capernaum was a small town on the upper northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, about two miles from where the Jordan flows into the lake. Jesus literally did go “down to Capernaum” because Nazareth was 1,200 feet above sea level and Capernaum some 686 feet below sea level. It was a prosperous fishing town with a more varied population than Nazareth because it was closer to the Decapolis (an area comprised of ten cities). Capernaum became known as Jesus’ own city (cf. ). Those who visit Capernaum today can view the remains of a second-century synagogue, excavated in the 1920s, that may well have been built on the site of the original synagogue in which Jesus preached.
“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” (vv. 31, 32). Capernaum was a small town on the upper northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, about two miles from where the Jordan flows into the lake. Jesus literally did go “down to Capernaum” because Nazareth was 1,200 feet above sea level and Capernaum some 686 feet below sea level. It was a prosperous fishing town with a more varied population than Nazareth because it was closer to the Decapolis (an area comprised of ten cities). Capernaum became known as Jesus’ own city (cf. ). Those who visit Capernaum today can view the remains of a second-century synagogue, excavated in the 1920s, that may well have been built on the site of the original synagogue in which Jesus preached.
Whatever the case, the congregation that gathered in the synagogue in Jesus’ day was made up of humble townsfolk—fishermen, merchants, craftsmen, and laborers and their wives. As they participated in the psalms, the blessings, the prayers, and the reading of the Law and the Prophets, they eagerly awaited the sermon from the Nazarene who had been causing such a stir around Galilee. And they weren’t disappointed. “They were amazed at his teaching” se admiraban de su doctrina (v. 32a). The Greek word for “amazed” literally means “to strike with panic or shock.” They were “struck with amazement”4—thunderstruck in their souls! Jesus’ preaching packed a powerful punch!
se admiraban de su doctrina
Reina Valera Revisada (1960). (1998). (). Miami: Sociedades Bı́blicas Unidas.(v. 32a). The Greek word for “amazed” literally means “to strike with panic or shock.” They were “struck with amazement”4—thunderstruck in their souls! Jesus’ preaching packed a powerful punch!
Why? “Because his message had authority” porque su palabra era con autoridad (v. 32b), or as the parallel passage in Mark has it,
Mark 1:22 RVR60
Y se admiraban de su doctrina; porque les enseñaba como quien tiene autoridad, y no como los escribas.
porque su palabra era con autoridad
This was always the way Jesus taught.
Matthew 7:28–29 RVR60
Y cuando terminó Jesús estas palabras, la gente se admiraba de su doctrina; porque les enseñaba como quien tiene autoridad, y no como los escribas.
Reina Valera Revisada (1960). (1998). (). Miami: Sociedades Bı́blicas Unidas.(v. 32b), or as the parallel passage in Mark has it, “because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law” (1:22). This was always the way Jesus taught. “When Jesus had finished saying these things [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (, ). Their teachers, mostly Pharisees, were in bondage to quotation marks—they loved to quote authorities. For example, R. Elieser affirmed in the Talmud: “Nor have I ever in my life said a thing which I did not hear from my teachers.” The same was said of R. Johanan b. Zakkai: “He never in his life said anything which he had not heard from his teachers” (T B Sukkah, 28a). Thus their teaching was a chain of references: “R. Hillel says … But also R. Isaac says …” It was secondhand theology—labyrinthine, petty, legalistic, joyless, boring, and weightless.
Their teachers, mostly Pharisees, were in bondage to quotation marks—they loved to quote authorities. For example, R. Elieser affirmed in the Talmud: “Nor have I ever in my life said a thing which I did not hear from my teachers.” The same was said of R. Johanan b. Zakkai: “He never in his life said anything which he had not heard from his teachers” (T B Sukkah, 28a). Thus their teaching was a chain of references: “R. Hillel says … But also R. Isaac says …” It was secondhand theology—labyrinthine, petty, legalistic, joyless, boring, and weightless.
“because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law” (1:22). This was always the way Jesus taught. “When Jesus had finished saying these things [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (, ). Their teachers, mostly Pharisees, were in bondage to quotation marks—they loved to quote authorities. For example, R. Elieser affirmed in the Talmud: “Nor have I ever in my life said a thing which I did not hear from my teachers.” The same was said of R. Johanan b. Zakkai: “He never in his life said anything which he had not heard from his teachers” (T B Sukkah, 28a). Thus their teaching was a chain of references: “R. Hillel says … But also R. Isaac says …” It was secondhand theology—labyrinthine, petty, legalistic, joyless, boring, and weightless.
“When Jesus had finished saying these things [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (, ). Their teachers, mostly Pharisees, were in bondage to quotation marks—they loved to quote authorities. For example, R. Elieser affirmed in the Talmud: “Nor have I ever in my life said a thing which I did not hear from my teachers.” The same was said of R. Johanan b. Zakkai: “He never in his life said anything which he had not heard from his teachers” (T B Sukkah, 28a). Thus their teaching was a chain of references: “R. Hillel says … But also R. Isaac says …” It was secondhand theology—labyrinthine, petty, legalistic, joyless, boring, and weightless.
But when Jesus spoke, it was just the opposite. There were few quotation marks. His style was, “You have heard that it was said … But I tell you” Oísteis que fue dicho a los antiguosPero yo os digo (cf. , , , ). He preached God’s Word, not just about God’s Word. His preaching of the Law and the Prophets was clear and simple, as it has been with all true preachers of the Word. In contrast, consider the godtalk of contemporary theologian J. J. Altizer:
Pero yo os digo
21Oísteis que fue dicho a los antiguos
Reina Valera Revisada (1960). (1998). (). Miami: Sociedades Bı́blicas Unidas. (cf. , , , ). He preached God’s Word, not just about God’s Word. His preaching of the Law and the Prophets was clear and simple, as it has been with all true preachers of the Word. In contrast, consider the godtalk of contemporary theologian J. J. Altizer:
Insofar as an eschatological epiphany of Christ can occur only in conjunction with a realization in total experience of the kinetic process of self-negation, we should expect that epiphany to occur in the heart of darkness, for only the universal triumph of the Antichrist can provide an arena for the total manifestation of Christ.
Significantly, Altizer’s words came from his book The Gospel of Christian Atheism—definitely not a gospel tract!
Once Harry Ironside was greeted by a visitor who said he had enjoyed the service, although he did not think Ironside was a great preacher. Ironside replied, “I know I’m not a great preacher. But what was it about my preaching that brought you to that conclusion?” The man answered, “I understood everything you said.” This was an unwitting confession of one of the reasons for Ironside’s greatness. Jesus too, when he preached the Word, was clear and painfully direct in his application, as we see again and again in the Gospels. The conclusion in Capernaum was that “he taught them as one who had authority.” If we had been there, we too would have been thunderstruck!
Jesus’ preaching was not only clear, but convicting because the “Holy Spirit [had] descended on him” at his baptism (3:22), and because he was “full of the Holy Spirit” when he returned from the Jordan (4:1), and because when he began to preach he proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me” (4:18; cf. ). Jesus’ listeners in Capernaum were convicted by his words. As Amy Carmichael, the great missionary, said, “If you have never been hurt by a word from God, it is probable that you have never heard God speak.” The people were shocked, thunderstruck, sublimely hurt. Jesus’ teaching was authoritative because he proclaimed God’s Word clearly and with conviction. We ought to pray for such divine hurt!
We dare not miss the point here: as Jesus went forth to war against the forces of evil, he staked everything on the authority of the written Word. He defeated Satan and his temptations in the desert by quoting God’s Word, and in his ministry at large it became his mainstay. was the basis of his first sermon. The Sermon on the Mount was an exposition of the Law. Even after his resurrection,
Luke 24:27 RVR60
Y comenzando desde Moisés, y siguiendo por todos los profetas, les declaraba en todas las Escrituras lo que de él decían.
Jesus ministered the Word!
“beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (24:27). Jesus ministered the Word!
If the church is to have any authority today, it must teach on the authority of God’s holy Word. Paul’s charge to Timothy comes to us all:
2 Timothy 2:15 RVR60
Procura con diligencia presentarte a Dios aprobado, como obrero que no tiene de qué avergonzarse, que usa bien la palabra de verdad.
A few paragraphs later Paul told Timothy what he was to do as a result of his hard study: “Preach the Word” prediques la palabra (). In our day when postmodern culture is not interested in reasoned doctrine but only on feelings, the church must stand on God’s Word. Otherwise it has no authority.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (). A few paragraphs later Paul told Timothy what he was to do as a result of his hard study: “Preach the Word” (). In our day when postmodern culture is not interested in reasoned doctrine but only on feelings, the church must stand on God’s Word. Otherwise it has no authority.
Jesus’ Authority in Power (vv. 33–37)
Jesus’ Authority in Power (vv. 33–37)
The Challenge
We do not know when the opposition came or who the opposer was, but as the thunderstruck people sat soaking in Jesus’ teaching,
Luke 4:33–34 RVR60
Estaba en la sinagoga un hombre que tenía un espíritu de demonio inmundo, el cual exclamó a gran voz, diciendo: Déjanos; ¿qué tienes con nosotros, Jesús nazareno? ¿Has venido para destruirnos? Yo te conozco quién eres, el Santo de Dios.
One of Satan’s lesser minions had entered into the person of one of the synagogue attenders. Literally, this man had the “spirit of an unclean demon” that very likely affected both his mind and body. As a fallen spirit, it was utterly evil and unredeemable. Like Milton’s Satan it had irrevocably said, “Evil be thou my good.”
“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!’ ” (vv. 33, 34). One of Satan’s lesser minions had entered into the person of one of the synagogue attenders. Literally, this man had the “spirit of an unclean demon” that very likely affected both his mind and body. As a fallen spirit, it was utterly evil and unredeemable. Like Milton’s Satan it had irrevocably said, “Evil be thou my good.”
As such, unable to bear the presence of Christ, it writhed in the presence of Jesus’ holiness. As foul things scurry from the light when you lift a stone, evil spirits, lovers of darkness, recoil from the light of Christ. James declared that demons
James 2:19 RVR60
Tú crees que Dios es uno; bien haces. También los demonios creen, y tiemblan.
“believe … and shudder” (phrissousin—literally, they bristle like a frightened cat []).
The hushed silence of the synagogue as the listeners sat motionless listening to Jesus was shattered by the possessed man’s shrieks—“Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” ¿qué tienes con nosotros, Jesús nazareno? “Ha!” expresses displeasure, and the question “What do you want with us?” literally means “What do we have in common?” It is a rhetorical question meaning, “Don’t meddle with me” or “Leave me alone.”10 The evil spirit wanted Jesus to go away.
¿qué tienes con nosotros, Jesús nazareno?
Reina Valera Revisada (1960). (1998). (). Miami: Sociedades Bı́blicas Unidas. “Ha!” expresses displeasure, and the question “What do you want with us?” literally means “What do we have in common?” It is a rhetorical question meaning, “Don’t meddle with me” or “Leave me alone.”10 The evil spirit wanted Jesus to go away.
The next phrase, also stated as a question—“Have you come to destroy us?” ¿Has venido para destruirnos?—is really a shout of defiance: “You have come to destroy us!” It was an instinctive cry of dread. The demon knew Jesus would destroy or eternally condemn him someday—perhaps today. Then came the final dramatic cry: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” The demon was not trying to ingratiate itself with Christ. but was frantically attempting to bring the Lord under his power. It was widely believed at that time that “the exact knowledge of the other’s name brought mastery or control over him.” This was a desperate, ill-informed attempt to subdue Christ.
¿Has venido para destruirnos?—is really a shout of defiance: “You have come to destroy us!” It was an instinctive cry of dread. The demon knew Jesus would destroy or eternally condemn him someday—perhaps today. Then came the final dramatic cry: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” The demon was not trying to ingratiate itself with Christ. but was frantically attempting to bring the Lord under his power. It was widely believed at that time that “the exact knowledge of the other’s name brought mastery or control over him.” This was a desperate, ill-informed attempt to subdue Christ.
Reina Valera Revisada (1960). (1998). (). Miami: Sociedades Bı́blicas Unidas.—is really a shout of defiance: “You have come to destroy us!” It was an instinctive cry of dread. The demon knew Jesus would destroy or eternally condemn him someday—perhaps today. Then came the final dramatic cry: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” The demon was not trying to ingratiate itself with Christ. but was frantically attempting to bring the Lord under his power. It was widely believed at that time that “the exact knowledge of the other’s name brought mastery or control over him.” This was a desperate, ill-informed attempt to subdue Christ.
From this encounter we know without doubt that whenever the authority of Christ, the Son of God, is invoked in preaching or teaching, there will be a violent confrontation with the evil spirits who possess men’s souls and rule (and ruin) their lives. This is what evangelists experience as they minister around the globe—and will continue to experience as long as they hold Christ high. Likewise, those who oppose pornography, abortion, and other moral evils of our day will encounter supernatural opposition in the days and years to come. The foul creatures of Hell do not like to be challenged.
The Exorcism
Self-proclaimed exorcists in Jesus’ day engaged in weird, bizarre practices. For example, a ring would be placed under the subject’s nose, the exorcist would recite a lengthy spell, and there would be a staged splash in a nearby basin of water—by the unlucky demon, of course! But Jesus engaged in no such hocus-pocus. Very likely there was total silence for a moment in that synagogue by the sea. Perhaps the lapping of the water could be heard. Surely some of those in the congregation could hear their heart beat more rapidly than normal. Then Jesus spoke sternly:
Luke 4:35 RVR60
Y Jesús le reprendió, diciendo: Cállate, y sal de él. Entonces el demonio, derribándole en medio de ellos, salió de él, y no le hizo daño alguno.
Some probably wondered if the victim was dying as he rolled around on the floor. Instead, he stood whole, delivered, and joyous.
“ ‘Be quiet [literally, “be muzzled”]! Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him” (v. 35). Some probably wondered if the victim was dying as he rolled around on the floor. Instead, he stood whole, delivered, and joyous.
The Response
Luke 4:36 RVR60
Y estaban todos maravillados, y hablaban unos a otros, diciendo: ¿Qué palabra es esta, que con autoridad y poder manda a los espíritus inmundos, y salen?
Luke 4:36–37 RVR60
Y estaban todos maravillados, y hablaban unos a otros, diciendo: ¿Qué palabra es esta, que con autoridad y poder manda a los espíritus inmundos, y salen? Y su fama se difundía por todos los lugares de los contornos.
“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!’ ” (v. 36). Indeed, what teaching! What authority and power! Jesus’ authority came, of course, from who he was, “the Son of God,” as even the demon had confessed, though not for the right reasons. But Jesus’ authority was also a result of his victory over Satan in the wilderness (4:1–13). One little word had felled Satan there, and now it was the same with the unclean spirit.
Indeed, what teaching! What authority and power! Jesus’ authority came, of course, from who he was, “the Son of God,” as even the demon had confessed, though not for the right reasons. But Jesus’ authority was also a result of his victory over Satan in the wilderness (4:1–13). One little word had felled Satan there, and now it was the same with the unclean spirit.
Indeed, what teaching! What authority and power! Jesus’ authority came, of course, from who he was, “the Son of God,” as even the demon had confessed, though not for the right reasons. But Jesus’ authority was also a result of his victory over Satan in the wilderness (4:1–13). One little word had felled Satan there, and now it was the same with the unclean spirit.
ndeed, what teaching! What authority and power! Jesus’ authority came, of course, from who he was, “the Son of God,” as even the demon had confessed, though not for the right reasons. But Jesus’ authority was also a result of his victory over Satan in the wilderness (4:1–13). One little word had felled Satan there, and now it was the same with the unclean spirit.
Today the victory and authority of Christ are even more established, for Satan was defeated at the cross. Of this Paul says:
Colossians 2:13–15 RVR60
Y a vosotros, estando muertos en pecados y en la incircuncisión de vuestra carne, os dio vida juntamente con él, perdonándoos todos los pecados,anulando el acta de los decretos que había contra nosotros, que nos era contraria, quitándola de en medio y clavándola en la cruz,y despojando a los principados y a las potestades, los exhibió públicamente, triunfando sobre ellos en la cruz.
Jesus has disarmed the enemy! The enemy’s doom is sealed! Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse once saw a small child playing with a toy balloon. When the balloon had no air in it, it was a small thing that could be hidden in the palm of the youngster’s hand. But when it was blown up, it was a frightening thing with a devilish face on its side. The child kept blowing and blowing until the face was quite large. Suddenly the balloon exploded, and all the child held in his hand was a handful of rubber, with the distorted face reduced to virtually nothing. The child attempted to stretch out the face, but it had lost its power to frighten.
C
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. ()
Jesus has disarmed the enemy! The enemy’s doom is sealed! Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse once saw a small child playing with a toy balloon. When the balloon had no air in it, it was a small thing that could be hidden in the palm of the youngster’s hand. But when it was blown up, it was a frightening thing with a devilish face on its side. The child kept blowing and blowing until the face was quite large. Suddenly the balloon exploded, and all the child held in his hand was a handful of rubber, with the distorted face reduced to virtually nothing. The child attempted to stretch out the face, but it had lost its power to frighten.
As Barnhouse reflected on this, he thought about what happened to Satan when Christ died. The devil and his principalities had been filled with pretensions, but Christ disarmed them and made a show of them—a public example. “We can thank God,” wrote Dr. Barnhouse, “that Satan was effectively put to open shame, exposed publicly. His overblown balloon burst, leaving him nothing but the messy remains of his grinning pretensions.” Amen!
Jesus’ authority has been established by his Word and his power. The Scriptures are explicit about his authority (note the relationship of authority with each of the following): he has authority to teach (; , ; ); to exorcise (; ; ; ); to heal (; , ; ; ); to forgive (; ; ; cf. ); to judge (; ); to give life (; ); to empower ().
Matthew 28:18 RVR60
Y Jesús se acercó y les habló diciendo: Toda potestad me es dada en el cielo y en la tierra.
All authority and power has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth. What picture might best portray Jesus’ authority? Perhaps one of him standing with one foot in our galaxy and the other in the next galaxy, 100,000 light-years away—or, better, straddling the entire universe. All authority everywhere is his!
All authority and power has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth. What picture might best portray Jesus’ authority? Perhaps one of him standing with one foot in our galaxy and the other in the next galaxy, 100,000 light-years away—or, better, straddling the entire universe. All authority everywhere is his!
Kingdom Authority and Those Closestto Him (vv. 38, 39)
All authority and power has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth. What picture might best portray Jesus’ authority? Perhaps one of him standing with one foot in our galaxy and the other in the next galaxy, 100,000 light-years away—or, better, straddling the entire universe. All authority everywhere is his!
Kingdom Authority and Those Closestto Him (vv. 38, 39)
It was customary for synagogues to conduct a mid-morning service and for the Sabbath meal to be served right after synagogue at the sixth hour (noon). So Jesus was invited to the home of his soon-to-be-disciple Simon Peter:
Luke 4:38 RVR60
Entonces Jesús se levantó y salió de la sinagoga, y entró en casa de Simón. La suegra de Simón tenía una gran fiebre; y le rogaron por ella.
Lucas
Luke the physician literally tells us that the poor woman was “seized by a great fever.” She was not dying, but she probably felt like it. We have all experienced such a high fever, when we feel like molecules of air are assaulting our bodies, with each molecule hitting us at about 100,000 miles per hour! When we are in the grip of a fever, brushing our teeth can seem as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. Peter’s mother-in-law may have prepared the meal, but someone else would have to serve it.
“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her” (v. 38). Luke the physician literally tells us that the poor woman was “seized by a great fever.” She was not dying, but she probably felt like it. We have all experienced such a high fever, when we feel like molecules of air are assaulting our bodies, with each molecule hitting us at about 100,000 miles per hour! When we are in the grip of a fever, brushing our teeth can seem as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. Peter’s mother-in-law may have prepared the meal, but someone else would have to serve it.
Unable to attend the synagogue with the others, she was languishing amidst a tangle of blankets. Then Jesus was asked to “help her.”
Luke 4:39 RVR60
E inclinándose hacia ella, reprendió a la fiebre; y la fiebre la dejó, y levantándose ella al instante, les servía.
The word translated “rebuked” was the same one Jesus used when he sternly commanded the demon to come out of the man at the synagogue. One second the woman lay flattened out with fever, and the next she was cheerfully setting the meal on the table! All were astounded. I can imagine big old Peter smacking his lips as he ate heartily and bragged on his mother-in-law, the guests hanging on Jesus’ every word, eyes turning in wonder from the happy hostess to Jesus and back.
“So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them” (v. 39). The word translated “rebuked” was the same one Jesus used when he sternly commanded the demon to come out of the man at the synagogue. One second the woman lay flattened out with fever, and the next she was cheerfully setting the meal on the table! All were astounded. I can imagine big old Peter smacking his lips as he ate heartily and bragged on his mother-in-law, the guests hanging on Jesus’ every word, eyes turning in wonder from the happy hostess to Jesus and back.
The healing had been instant and complete! And the woman’s healing enabled her to serve. As the subsequent church has reflected on this over the years, it has rightly seen a living example of what Christ wants to do in believers’ lives. The measure of a Christian is not how many servants he has, but how many he serves. Christ’s kingdom authority ought to enrich our private domestic circle as well as our corporate fellowship.
The memorable meal would never be forgotten. As family and friends lingered around the table, the shadows lengthened and the sun began to settle, signaling the Sabbath’s end.
Kingdom Authority and the Townspeople (vv. 40, 41)
Luke 4:40 RVR60
Al ponerse el sol, todos los que tenían enfermos de diversas enfermedades los traían a él; y él, poniendo las manos sobre cada uno de ellos, los sanaba.
Kingdom Authority and the Townspeople (vv. 40, 41)
“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” (v. 40). Word of the synagogue miracle quickly went to every home in Capernaum, and the city’s ill were brought to Jesus in joyous anticipation. Suffering masses gathered at Peter’s door as the western glow of the receding sun passed the horizon. Every manner of disease was there—consumption, raging fevers, cancer, degenerative diseases (MS, diabetes, rickets)—the crippled, the palsied, the blind. Some had to be carried. Many moaned in their distress.
Word of the synagogue miracle quickly went to every home in Capernaum, and the city’s ill were brought to Jesus in joyous anticipation. Suffering masses gathered at Peter’s door as the western glow of the receding sun passed the horizon. Every manner of disease was there—consumption, raging fevers, cancer, degenerative diseases (MS, diabetes, rickets)—the crippled, the palsied, the blind. Some had to be carried. Many moaned in their distress.
Extra candles were lit, and in the flickering light Jesus healed “each one.” This was a wholesale healing, purposely indiscriminate. At other times, Jesus would heal some but not others, but on this unique occasion all who came were made whole. Perhaps even some who were demonized were healed against their own will. This was an unrestrained display of raw kingdom power. The night vibrated with healing wholeness.
“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” (v. 40). Word of the synagogue miracle quickly went to every home in Capernaum, and the city’s ill were brought to Jesus in joyous anticipation. Suffering masses gathered at Peter’s door as the western glow of the receding sun passed the horizon. Every manner of disease was there—consumption, raging fevers, cancer, degenerative diseases (MS, diabetes, rickets)—the crippled, the palsied, the blind. Some had to be carried. Many moaned in their distress.
“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” (v. 40). Word of the synagogue miracle quickly went to every home in Capernaum, and the city’s ill were brought to Jesus in joyous anticipation. Suffering masses gathered at Peter’s door as the western glow of the receding sun passed the horizon. Every manner of disease was there—consumption, raging fevers, cancer, degenerative diseases (MS, diabetes, rickets)—the crippled, the palsied, the blind. Some had to be carried. Many moaned in their distress.
Extra candles were lit, and in the flickering light Jesus healed “each one.” This was a wholesale healing, purposely indiscriminate. At other times, Jesus would heal some but not others, but on this unique occasion all who came were made whole. Perhaps even some who were demonized were healed against their own will. This was an unrestrained display of raw kingdom power. The night vibrated with healing wholeness.
Luke is most careful to tell us that “laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” Hands-on healing was most unusual, for such a practice was unknown in the Old Testament and rabbinical literature. Jesus’ method, radically new, was symbolic of the outflow of divine power. Moreover, here it conveyed divine tenderness to the needy. Every single person that evening felt the touch of the Master’s hand.
Luke is most careful to tell us that “laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” Hands-on healing was most unusual, for such a practice was unknown in the Old Testament and rabbinical literature. Jesus’ method, radically new, was symbolic of the outflow of divine power. Moreover, here it conveyed divine tenderness to the needy. Every single person that evening felt the touch of the Master’s hand.
At this signal time in the outpouring of Christ’s power, all history was meant to see that his kingdom authority is not an impersonal force. It is unequaled power to be sure, but it was personally and lovingly administered in Jesus’ tender hands.
At this signal time in the outpouring of Christ’s power, all history was meant to see that his kingdom authority is not an impersonal force. It is unequaled power to be sure, but it was personally and lovingly administered in Jesus’ tender hands.
That was a poignant, memorable night. However, it was not without a hint of tragedy. Those who are ill of body know what they need and will go to great lengths to receive it. But sadly, people who will break their necks to get to Jesus the physician will scarcely move to reach Jesus the Redeemer. As Alexander MacLaren said: “Offer men the smaller gifts, and they will run over one another in their scramble for them; but offer them the highest, and they will scarcely hold out a languid hand to take them.”
Since some of the illnesses Jesus encountered were caused by evil spirits, Luke adds, “Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ” (v. 41). The demons’ repeated shouts, “You are the Son of God!” were not confessions, but rather futile attempts to exercise mastery over Christ by showing that they knew his name. Jesus silenced them with a simple rebuke, just as he had done with the unclean spirit in the synagogue (v. 35) and in Peter’s home when he rebuked the fever (v. 39). Jesus exercised his power with the ease of omnipotence. Just a word.
That was a poignant, memorable night. However, it was not without a hint of tragedy. Those who are ill of body know what they need and will go to great lengths to receive it. But sadly, people who will break their necks to get to Jesus the physician will scarcely move to reach Jesus the Redeemer. As Alexander MacLaren said: “Offer men the smaller gifts, and they will run over one another in their scramble for them; but offer them the highest, and they will scarcely hold out a languid hand to take them.”
Since some of the illnesses Jesus encountered were caused by evil spirits, Luke adds,
This is important because Scripture teaches that we are at war with a mighty enemy: “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” (). Our spiritual enemies are not petty officials. The designation of their leaders as “rulers,” “authorities,” “powers,” and “spiritual forces of evil” indicates that they form a vast, organized hierarchy. The word translated “powers,” or “world rulers” (rsv), is kosmokratoras or, in a recognizable English rendering, cosmocrats, referring to high-ranking angels. We face a great demonic enemy with a defined and disciplined chain of command. The evil we wrestle against is not the feeble Satan of folklore in command of a gang of winged possums! It is a great organized army of personal evil beings.
Luke 4:41 RVR60
También salían demonios de muchos, dando voces y diciendo: Tú eres el Hijo de Dios. Pero él los reprendía y no les dejaba hablar, porque sabían que él era el Cristo.
The demons’ repeated shouts, “You are the Son of God!” were not confessions, but rather futile attempts to exercise mastery over Christ by showing that they knew his name. Jesus silenced them with a simple rebuke, just as he had done with the unclean spirit in the synagogue (v. 35) and in Peter’s home when he rebuked the fever (v. 39). Jesus exercised his power with the ease of omnipotence. Just a word.
“Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ” (v. 41). The demons’ repeated shouts, “You are the Son of God!” were not confessions, but rather futile attempts to exercise mastery over Christ by showing that they knew his name. Jesus silenced them with a simple rebuke, just as he had done with the unclean spirit in the synagogue (v. 35) and in Peter’s home when he rebuked the fever (v. 39). Jesus exercised his power with the ease of omnipotence. Just a word.
But we need not fear—Jesus confronts the enemy in cosmic combat, and his powerful word is all that is needed for victory.
This is important because Scripture teaches that we are at war with a mighty enemy:
Ephesians 6:12 RVR60
Porque no tenemos lucha contra sangre y carne, sino contra principados, contra potestades, contra los gobernadores de las tinieblas de este siglo, contra huestes espirituales de maldad en las regiones celestes.
Our spiritual enemies are not petty officials. The designation of their leaders as “rulers,” “authorities,” “powers,” and “spiritual forces of evil” indicates that they form a vast, organized hierarchy. The word translated “powers,” or “world rulers” (rsv), is kosmokratoras or, in a recognizable English rendering, cosmocrats, referring to high-ranking angels. We face a great demonic enemy with a defined and disciplined chain of command. The evil we wrestle against is not the feeble Satan of folklore in command of a gang of winged possums! It is a great organized army of personal evil beings.
“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” (). Our spiritual enemies are not petty officials. The designation of their leaders as “rulers,” “authorities,” “powers,” and “spiritual forces of evil” indicates that they form a vast, organized hierarchy. The word translated “powers,” or “world rulers” (rsv), is kosmokratoras or, in a recognizable English rendering, cosmocrats, referring to high-ranking angels. We face a great demonic enemy with a defined and disciplined chain of command. The evil we wrestle against is not the feeble Satan of folklore in command of a gang of winged possums! It is a great organized army of personal evil beings.
But lo, his doom is sure;
But we need not fear—Jesus confronts the enemy in cosmic combat, and his powerful word is all that is needed for victory.
One little word shall fell him.
But lo, his doom is sure;
Nothing can stand against Christ and his kingdom!
One little word shall fell him.
Nothing can stand against Christ and his kingdom!
Kingdom Authority and the Nation (vv. 42–44)
Kingdom Authority and the Nation (vv. 42–44)
There was hardly a sick person left in Capernaum, except perhaps the most hardened cynic. Many, no doubt, had spent the whole night luxuriating in their newfound health—testing renewed appendages, running their hands over newly smooth skin, clutching a healthy infant, feeling good for the first time in years. So we are not surprised at what we read next:
Luke 4:42 RVR60
Cuando ya era de día, salió y se fue a un lugar desierto; y la gente le buscaba, y llegando a donde estaba, le detenían para que no se fuera de ellos.
There is no mention of force here, but some very likely were thinking of it. The prospect of a town where everyone, old and young alike, is healthy—what a thought!
here is no mention of force here, but some very likely were thinking of it. The prospect of a town where everyone, old and young alike, is healthy—what a thought!
Neither are we surprised at Jesus’ response:
Luke 4:43–44 RVR60
Pero él les dijo: Es necesario que también a otras ciudades anuncie el evangelio del reino de Dios; porque para esto he sido enviado. Y predicaba en las sinagogas de Galilea.
This is the first mention of “the kingdom of God” in the Gospel of Luke, a phrase that will occur thirty-seven more times in that book. It means “Jesus’ activity in bringing salvation to men and the sphere which is thereby created” (Marshall). The kingdom had a past manifestation because God has always been sovereign, as attests:
“But he said, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea” (v. 43, 44).
This is the first mention of “the kingdom of God” in the Gospel of Luke, a phrase that will occur thirty-seven more times in that book. It means “Jesus’ activity in bringing salvation to men and the sphere which is thereby created” (Marshall). The kingdom had a past manifestation because God has always been sovereign, as attests: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (kjv). And past saints are identified in Luke’s Gospel as part of the kingdom: “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out” (13:28). The kingdom of God was also present with Christ and is present in the lives of his spiritual children, as Jesus explained: “the kingdom of God is within you” (). Lastly, of course, the kingdom is future (cf. ; , ; ; ).
Psalm 24:1 RVR60
De Jehová es la tierra y su plenitud; El mundo, y los que en él habitan.
And past saints are identified in Luke’s Gospel as part of the kingdom:
Luke 13:28 RVR60
Allí será el llanto y el crujir de dientes, cuando veáis a Abraham, a Isaac, a Jacob y a todos los profetas en el reino de Dios, y vosotros estéis excluidos.
Lucas 13:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (kjv). And past saints are identified in Luke’s Gospel as part of the kingdom: “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out” (13:28). The kingdom of God was also present with Christ and is present in the lives of his spiritual children, as Jesus explained: “the kingdom of God is within you” (). Lastly, of course, the kingdom is future (cf. ; , ; ; ).
The kingdom of God was also present with Christ and is present in the lives of his spiritual children, as Jesus explained:
Luke 17:21 RVR60
ni dirán: Helo aquí, o helo allí; porque he aquí el reino de Dios está entre vosotros.
“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out” (13:28). The kingdom of God was also present with Christ and is present in the lives of his spiritual children, as Jesus explained: “the kingdom of God is within you” (). Lastly, of course, the kingdom is future (cf. ; , ; ; ).
Lu
Lastly, of course, the kingdom is future (cf. ; , ; ; ).
“the kingdom of God is within you” (). Lastly, of course, the kingdom is future (cf. ; , ; ; ).
Conclussion
In light of all this, there is hope for the worst of us. Someone may seem to have the hardest heart possible—impenetrable, irredeemable—the proudest will—bloodied, unbowed, unbroken, condemned. Yet there is great hope for that person, for Christ can free him or her from the evil that has him or her in bondage. If that person will bow to the authority of the Word and person of Jesus Christ, he or she will be saved, and the Savior’s power will come as a healing balm.
Luke gives us in chapters 4 and 5 of his Gospel a cosmically authoritative Christ who has come with “the good news of the kingdom of God.” The range of his authority stretches language and imagination. As we seek to grasp it, the Christ of the Andes, that towering statue, comes to mind. But that is far too small. We could picture Christ standing with his feet planted on twin peaks of the Rockies and towering another 14,000 feet above them. But that doesn’t do it either. How about one foot planted in the Atlantic and the other in the Pacific, so that his shoulders extend 6,000 miles above the earth? Insufficient. We come closer to “seeing” his authority if we think of him straddling the one hundred thousand million galaxies of the universe and holding them together even as the universe expands, though even that does not capture the full picture. One thing we know for sure—all authority in heaven and earth is Christ’s ()!
In light of all this, there is hope for the worst of us. Someone may seem to have the hardest heart possible—impenetrable, irredeemable—the proudest will—bloodied, unbowed, unbroken, condemned. Yet there is great hope for that person, for Christ can free him or her from the evil that has him or her in bondage. If that person will bow to the authority of the Word and person of Jesus Christ, he or she will be saved, and the Savior’s power will come as a healing balm.
Luke gives us in chapters 4 and 5 of his Gospel a cosmically authoritative Christ who has come with “the good news of the kingdom of God.” The range of his authority stretches language and imagination. As we seek to grasp it, the Christ of the Andes, that towering statue, comes to mind. But that is far too small. We could picture Christ standing with his feet planted on twin peaks of the Rockies and towering another 14,000 feet above them. But that doesn’t do it either. How about one foot planted in the Atlantic and the other in the Pacific, so that his shoulders extend 6,000 miles above the earth? Insufficient. We come closer to “seeing” his authority if we think of him straddling the one hundred thousand million galaxies of the universe and holding them together even as the universe expands, though even that does not capture the full picture. One thing we know for sure—all authority in heaven and earth is Christ’s ()!
Wherever Christ went, the kingdom went. When men and women come to him in faith, the kingdom enters their hearts. All true believers are part of the kingdom to come.
How should we to respond to these massive spiritual realities? The answer is given by Christ himself in the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come” venga tu reino (11:2). If this is prayed in its fullest dimension, Christ’s kingdom authority will be properly exalted. When we pray “Your kingdom come,” we pray for the final and ultimate establishment of his reign, the great moment beyond earth’s history when all evil will be judged and eliminated, when God’s children will dwell in his holy presence and all will be “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (). In this sense our prayers ought to have an almost martial ring: “Your kingdom come—Maranatha!—Come, O Lord!”
Furthermore, praying “Your kingdom come” involves a commitment to do God’s will. Matthew’s record of the Lord’s Prayer expands this phrase:
Matthew 6:10 RVR60
Venga tu reino. Hágase tu voluntad, como en el cielo, así también en la tierra.
To pray “Your kingdom come” is to pray for the bending of our wills in profound obedience to his. It is a commitment to consciously submit everything to his authority.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (6:10). To pray “Your kingdom come” is to pray for the bending of our wills in profound obedience to his. It is a commitment to consciously submit everything to his authority.
This is not a prayer for people who want to stay the way they are. When we pray like this, we hand ourselves over to the grace of God so that he may do as he pleases in our lives—“Your kingdom come in my life. Use me in your kingdom!”
While it is easy to pray for the future, eschatological kingdom and rule of Christ, it is quite another thing to pray for his present kingdom rule in our hearts. This is especially difficult for us moderns, for our culture has fostered a rebellious “submit to no one” spirit. Marriages fall apart because spouses have never submitted to anything or anyone unless they wanted to. Children are taught to question authority. Students reject teachers’ authority. Employees chafe under the authority of employers. And so it goes with citizens in regard to laws and government, and with believers in regard to the church.
Add to this the modern anti-authority malaise, the uniquely American worship of independence and individualism, the “Don’t tread on me,” no me pisotees “Security by Smith and Wesson” attitude, and we have a potent recipe for a profound inability to truly submit to any authority, even that of Christ himself. Es mejor morir de pie, que vivir de rodillas. Emiliano Zapata
This is why so many moderns have no kingdom power. You cannot enjoy a kingdom unless you are submitted to the king.
Have you ever officially submitted everything to the rule of Christ? Your will—your future—your ambitions—your longings—your vocation—your spouse—your children—your independence—your heart? Why not do it now?
Your kingdom come, Lord Jesus!
Related Media
Related Sermons