Read: Luke 4:31-44
Rejected by His hometown, Jesus goes to Capernaum, some 40 miles (a 9-hour walk according to Google Maps). Luke surrounds these two miraculous interventions with observations about the spreading of Jesus’ ministry. Don’t miss the detail that Jesus is not only teaching on the Sabbath, but He is also “working” by casting out demons and healing people. Somehow the religious leaders have outlawed such activity. Strange.
It seems Jesus is recognized by the rabbis in the area since we find He is teaching on the Sabbath he taught the people (Luke 4:31) in the synagogues. Interesting. It doesn’t take long for His fame to rise as He begins to demonstrate His authority over impure spirits, sickness, etc.
And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. Luke 4:37
Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
“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. Luke 4:35
I wish I could say I understood this passage, and other references to Jesus’ ability to see impure spirits, to command them, and at least for the moment, set people free. Those from the cessations camp suggest that all miracles cease to exist today. Other suggest this still happens, but we are blinded to the power of the Spirit because of our own shortcomings.
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 Messiah. Luke 4:41
From my perspective, we must not limit God in any way. I’m caught up in this world as much as anyone in society, so there’s no doubt in my mind as to why I seem to be unable to speak and command demons, but I would not conclude this is impossible. To suggest such would put God in a box. I’m not about to do that! Nor would I want to hear stern words from Jesus!!
Jesus Heals Many
Moving on to Peter’s home, we see his mother-in-law is sick, something that Luke (the doctor) tells us includes a high fever.
So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. Luke 4:39
Her reaction is to turn and serve Jesus and the others present — perhaps it’s her love language!
Side-note: Don’t miss the mother-in-law title. This means that Peter is married and likely has a family to consider as his call to ministry begins as well.
At sunset, many are brought to Jesus and He heals them all. What an amazing, miraculous sequence of events!
Jesus knows His time on earth is limited, so he tells the people:
“I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43
Why were you sent? What is your main purpose for the brief time on this planet? What if your time were limited? Would you make different choices if you knew you only had 3 years to minister to those you see in your path?
Lots of unanswered questions to consider. Here’s my advice: Ask God. Ask your closest friends. Pray about it, but don’t be obsessed by it because you are not Jesus! I am not Jesus, but I am His adopted heir. He cares about my ministry and understands that I am fully human. The key difference is the Spirit lives within me. The more attune I am to the Spirit, the more effective my ministry.
The song, So Will I, is constantly playing in the background as I type this.
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
Thanks Beth for sharing the song, for tilling the soil and leading us on this journey to Christ, with Christ, and His desire for our lives. May we grow and learn to say, So Will I.