- When you think of the word “authority,” what classic TV or movie character comes to mind? What was it about them that just screamed “authority”?
- What do you think of when you hear the word “authority”? When you hear the word, do you associate positive or negative thoughts with it?
READ LUKE 4:31-44
Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! 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!”
35 “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.
36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Jesus Heals Many
38 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. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.41 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.
42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
QUESTIONS FROM TEXT
- What stands out to you from the text? What surprises you? What questions/concerns does it raise?
- Does this text change or add anything new to your picture of Jesus?
Earlier in chapter 4, while Jesus is teaching in the synagogue, he presents his mission as it is found in Isaiah. He said he came to, “proclaim good news to the poor, freedom from the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
- In what ways do you see Jesus living out this mission in real time in verse 31-44?
- What do you think it was about Jesus that even early on he had authority among the people?
Leader Note: One example is the way he taught scripture. The culture practice of Jewish Rabbi’s at the time of Jesus was to lean on the interpretations of previous, well-known Rabbi’s before. For instance, a rabbi might read scripture and then say something in regards to the text like, “Rabbi Gamaliel said . . .” With Jesus, we see him making his own claims on scripture. He says things like, “You have heard it said, but I say . . .”
AUTHORITY OVER EVIL
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we see that Jesus also had authority over evil. Historians today will tell you that people in Jesus’s day viewed him as 1) a rabbi, 2) a miracle worker, and 3) an exorcist. In fact, UT professor Jesse Cragwell says, “among all the surviving records, there is no individual figure credited with an exorcisitic ministry on the scale of the one conducted by Jesus.”
- If you were to use 3 words to describe Jesus’s ministry, what would they be?
- Does it surprise you that one of the top three ways Jesus’s ministry is characterized is as an exorcist? Why or why not?
AUTHORITY OVER BROKENNESS
- What does this passage teach about Jesus and his love for other people?
- What spiritual habits/practices do you see Jesus engaging in that help fuel that love?
- How can you use this passage to communicate the Gospel to others?
CLOSE IN PRAYER