blog Theology

A Word with Authority – Luke 4:31-44

Prior to their interval of captivity in Babylon, the individuals of Judah worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem.  But, after they have been taken out of Judah and introduced into Babylon and away from the temple, they needed to find another option to worship, because the temple was not obtainable to them.  So, they developed the synagogue.  This was a place the place Jewish males gathered to be able to read the scrolls of the Scriptures – what right now we name the Previous Testomony – pray to God, and listen to His Word expounded upon.

Later, when the early New Testomony Christians started worshipping together, they continued to comply with this pattern that was first established within the synagogue.  The early Christians have been also the primary to start out using the codex, somewhat than the scroll.  That is, they sure the Scriptures in a guide type and by doing so helped to point out which writings have been thought-about authoritative as Scripture and which were not.  The writings in the codex have been thought-about authoritative, while those outdoors the codex were not.

At any fee, the early Christians continued to comply with the pattern of synagogue worship, ultimately including the books of the New Testomony to the record of readings.  So, every Sunday – the day of the Lord’s Resurrection – they might read from the Previous Testomony, one of many epistles, after which from one of many Gospels.  Then, they might also rejoice the Lord’s Supper.

It in all probability sounds very acquainted.  Our traditional liturgy principally goes all the best way again to the early Church and even additional again to synagogue worship; the celebration of the Sacrament goes back to the early Church’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  So, the best way we worship immediately goes back 2000 years to the early Church and, in some methods, back even further a couple of hundred years to the synagogue worship sample.

So, in the text from Luke immediately we see Jesus going to the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath, Saturday, to show (Luke four:31-44).  In Luke’s Gospel last week, Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth and skim from the scroll of Isaiah and proclaimed that Isaiah’s prophecies have been now fulfilled in him.  Now, this week, Jesus is in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Luke doesn’t say from which scroll Jesus read this week or what specifically he taught.  However, we will think about that like final week, he was stating how the Scriptures are being fulfilled in and by him.  And at this, one of many males in the synagogue who had an unclean demon dwelling in him cried out, “Ha!  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.”

What I discover most fascinating right here is that this man was a member of the synagogue.  Since he’s still a member of the synagogue at this point in Luke’s Gospel, we will assume that he had by no means cried out like this before, or else the other individuals in all probability would have kicked him out of the synagogue.  And yet he had a demon.

What meaning then is that week after week, Sabbath after Sabbath, this man and his demon got here to the synagogue and by no means found anything that was stated which was value crying out over.  Nothing was stated that challenged him or that he discovered threatening.  This demon was perfectly at residence within the synagogue in Capernaum, till Jesus Christ got here to problem him.

That’s superb isn’t it?  It’s like every week nothing was stated that was actually worthwhile, as a result of neither Satan nor his demons took offense.  They have been snug in church, as a result of there was no preaching of Christ to challenge them or confront them.

I worry that a comparable factor occurs in our church buildings at this time, notably in this nation and a lot of the Western world.  We’ve got entire church bodies embracing sin, we have now church our bodies and individuals actively advocating for the homicide of the unborn, we’ve got preaching which factors us to not Christ for salvation, but fairly to political packages or ourselves.

And Christ, the Word of God within the flesh, is what needs to be proclaimed.  That man within the synagogue sat there snug for an untold variety of Sabbaths until Christ came into his midst and taught with his own phrase that possessed authority.  The demon is aware of who Jesus is and as he speaks to Jesus, Jesus rebukes the demon, telling him to be silent and come out of the man; and the demon obeys.  Indeed, the demon must obey, as a result of Jesus’ phrase has authority and he has the facility to do things by way of his Word.

Then, Jesus goes to Simon Peter’s home the place Simon’s mother-in-law is sick with a fever.  Jesus rebukes the fever and it leaves her.  Indeed, it should depart her, as a result of Jesus’ word has authority and energy.  Then, the healed lady will get up and begins to serve them.  Here we see what happens when Jesus delivers us.  He heals us and restores us after which we are brought into a brand new life to serve.  Like Simon’s mother-in-law who was healed after which received up to serve, we too are healed after which rise up to serve.

Jesus’ phrase has authority.  He has the authority of God to cleanse and heal, as a result of he is God, God in the flesh.  So, Jesus rebukes demons and casts them out.  He rebukes sickness and removes it.  Jesus removes evil and restores his creation.  This is what Jesus came to do; he got here to “preach the good news of the kingdom of God.”

The “kingdom of God” that Jesus speaks of on this textual content and throughout the Gospels shouldn’t be actually a spot.  Once we hear the word “kingdom” we have a tendency to think about a place, perhaps a place with a fort.  But, what Jesus means by kingdom really has the sense of a “reign” or “rule.”  That is, Jesus preaches the good news of the reign of God which is claiming this fallen world as His own, returning it to its rightful state through which He created it.  And it comes about by way of the Word of God made flesh and the continual proclamation of this Word by means of the Church in each speech and Sacrament.  To do less is to permit individuals to stay captive to sin and dying.

And so the Church births youngsters into the reign of God.  You have got been birthed by means of the waters of Baptism and given new life.  You’ve been cleansed from evil and healed, introduced out of Devil’s reign and into the reign of God via Jesus Christ.

Actually, in the older rites of Baptism, there was an exorcism performed firstly the place the devil was forged out of the soon to be baptized individual via the facility of Christ’s word.  Then, the individual can be baptized in the water to die and rise with Christ.  Baptism is the drowning of the previous individual so that the previous individual dies to the facility of sin and evil.  Then, the baptized individual rises up out of the waters of baptism into a new life with Christ.  He is recreated in Baptism.  God has executed this to you in your personal Baptisms.  You’ve got died and risen with Christ, so demise and evil not have any hold on you.  And what does this great work?  It’s God’s Word, which has the facility and authority to do that.  And now you’re enabled to do good works, to serve in love, due to what Christ has first carried out for you and to you.

Paul talks about serving in love in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13).  The phrase translated love means a type of servant love or charity; love in action, primarily.  And Paul holds up faith, hope, and love as three nice Christian virtues, however maintains that the best of those is love, for a very good purpose.

Of religion, Hebrews 11:1 says that “… faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Of hope, Paul says in Romans: “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience”  (Romans 8:24-25).

So, both religion and hope grasp maintain of one thing that isn’t seen and look in the direction of the coming of one thing with endurance.  Our Christian faith grasps hold of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the excellent news that the reign of God has come and that we are included into His reign of healing and restoration by means of our baptisms into Christ’s dying and resurrection.

Likewise, our Christian hope is that Christ will return to complete the restoration and healing that he began in our Baptisms.  We reside in a world that also has Devil prowling about and with sin and demise and decay and evil in it.  However, our Baptismal hope appears previous all this current evil and as an alternative seems forward to Christ’s return, and our faith trusts in Christ’s promise to return.  Till that day,  on this current life, we stay lives of lively love within the midst of decay and demise, serving one another for the sake of Christ.

But, when Christ returns our hopes shall be fulfilled and our religion will probably be complete.  What we had not seen will then, on that day, be seen.  So, faith and hope will then move away, because we’ll obtain what we hoped for and in whom we had faith.  We’ll see Christ nose to nose and dwell in individual with Christ and one another ceaselessly in a world with out sin, dying, decay, or evil.  So, faith can be seen and hope can be fulfilled.  So, it is love, then, that is still ceaselessly.  That is the love of Christ that you’ve already acquired and now share with each other: an lively love which sacrificed himself for you and which continues on into eternity.

For, the Lord who knew you in the womb got here in the flesh to die and rise for you.  And the Lord who knew you within the womb baptized you into his demise and resurrection.  He eliminated you from the reign of evil and sin and dying and placed you into the reign of God as an alternative though the Baptismal waters.  That is the good news.  And He continues to feed you with his Word each week in preaching and the Lord’s Supper, for you live inside the gracious reign of God.  And this word has authority; it provides you what he says.  It provides you forgiveness and healing and restoration, freely and with out value to you.

Yet, all that is just the start, a foretaste of what’s to return.  All things might be accomplished when Christ returns.  He will fulfill your faith, full your hope, and finish your healing and restoration as well as that of all creation.  And you’ll then dwell with the Lord and each other in good love for eternity.  This you could be positive of, as a result of the promises of God come to you thru His Word which has the authority to make these guarantees and the facility to satisfy them.   Amen.

(Picture: Christ preaching at Capernaum.  By Maurycy Gottlieb – pl.pinterest.com, Public Area, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1712661