Monday, March 21, 2016

Luke 4:33-37

Luke 4:33-37
And in the synagogue a man was there while having a spirit of an unclean demon and he cried out with a great voice.  What is it to us and to you, Jesus of Nazareth?  Did you come to destroy us?  I have known who you are: The Holy One of God!”  And Jesus charged him sharply while saying, “Shut up and come out from him!”  And after throwing him down, the demon came out from him in the middle of them without hurting him in any way.  And astonishment became upon all and they were talking with one another while saying, “What are these words that in authority and power He charges the unclean spirits and they come out?”  And a report regarding Him was going out into all the neighboring places.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

This is a really neat passage.  First of all, it deals with demonic possession.  No matter how reformed we are, human beings are fascinated by the supernatural.  Even today in our modern age people are fascinated by spirits, possessions, mediums being able to reach out and talk to the dead, hauntings, and things like this.  We are fascinated by what we cannot understand or explain.  The people who see Jesus in this passage are no different.  They see Jesus able to exert control and influence into the supernatural and they are astounded.

Are you fascinated by the supernatural?  How does our fascination with the supernatural actually help to draw us with God?  Why are we easily amazed and astounded with supernatural events and discussions?

Second Thought:

Notice the actions of the demon.  The man cries out in a great voice.  He is focused on disrupting the normal routine of worshipping God in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  Furthermore, the man identifies Jesus as the Messiah.  This would inherently alter Jesus’ ability to teach and influence the crowd as He would desire.  Demonic influences are influences of disruption.  They create discord.  They alter events so that what should happen – what is desirable to have happen – becomes far more difficult.  Demonic influences are about disruption, especially with respect to disrupting our relationship with the Father.

Why would a demon desire to be about disruption?  Why can it be helpful to remember that demonic influences almost always have an element of disruption about them?  Think about other stories of demonic possession found in the Bible.  Where can you see elements of disruption about them?

Third Thought:

Jesus does exert control.  Jesus does display that He has mastery over them.  But what I really love in this passage is the first thing that Jesus says.  “Shut up!”  Most translations say, “Silence!”  They are just being nice.  Literally, this verb here means to close something and it is especially used when trying to get someone to close their mouth to stop talking.  Quite literally, this verb means “Shut up.”  The first thing that Jesus needs to happen is to get the demon to be silent.  In the silence, order can be restored.  In the silence, Jesus can do damage control.  In the silence, truth can be both proclaimed and heard clearly.  In the silence, God’s will can happen.  In the silence, a man can be restored back to being in control of His full faculties.

Do you believe that Jesus has power even over other supernatural powers?  Why is this an important thing to understand?  Have you ever seen this be true in your life?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 4:38-41
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