Sunday, February 3, 2019

Epiphany 4 Reflection

Epiphany 4 Series C reflection
03 February, 2019

Jesus’ Ministry at Capernaum Luke 4:31-43

Verses 31 and 32 begin with a summary of Jesus’ teaching ministry in the synagogue on the Sabbath days. His teaching resulted in amazement on the part of His audience, not unlike the initial response of the people of Nazareth. Luke sums up the cause for the amazement of the audience with these words:

His message was with authority (Luke 4:32).

What is it that distinguished our Lord’s teaching from that of the scribes and Pharisees, and made His teaching authoritative, when their teaching was not?

Jesus’ teaching was simple and straightforward, while that of scribes and Pharisees was academic, scholarly, and obscure.

Jesus taught as the author of Scripture, while the scribes and Pharisees taught as mere students, and not good students at that!

At Nazareth, Jesus had been put out of the synagogue. Now, at Capernaum, a demonized man had come into the synagogue, and the demon must be put out of the man.

Every time Jesus dealt with a demonized person the people already knew the problem was demonic. The New Testament never describes any occasion when a person was brought to Jesus and He diagnosed the problem as demonic, to their surprise. Demon possession was evident to everyone.

The demon was unclean, in contrast to the Lord, who was recognized by the demon as “the Holy One of God” (4:34). The demon was loud and disruptive. He cried out with a loud voice (4:33). His intent seems to have been to interrupt and disrupt the teaching of Jesus. Jesus would not carry on a conversation with this demon. Jesus rebuked the demon. And commanded it to be silent and to come out of the man

The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law and Many Others (4:38-41)
Luke emphasizes the word of rebuke spoken to the fever. Once again, it is the word of the Lord which is powerful. Not only does this high fever leave the woman instantly, but the residual consequences of the fever were remedied.

The rebuke of our Lord showed His disapproval of its unclean nature and of its diabolical associations, and of its work. Jesus also “rebuked” the winds (Matt. 8:26; Luke 8:24) and the fever of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:39). Both the winds and the fever were destructive and detrimental to man. Sickness (fever) and storms are not in accord with the original creation of the earth, but are the unpleasant result of the fall, thus the rebuke from the Creator.

As sunset approached, the Sabbath ended, which immediately brought many to the door of the house, hoping for healing. These were not people with minor ailments, various aches and pains, but people with serious maladies of various types, people who had to be brought by others. Every type of illness was healed, instantly and completely. Demons, too.

The Priority of Jesus’ Ministry  (4:42-44)
Jesus would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. (See Luke 5:16) Jesus responded to their appeals to stay by referring to His calling, to His priorities:

But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose” (v.43)

Jesus;’ priorities were prayer and the preaching of the Word. Miracles played a minor role in His ministry, but prayer and preaching were His priority. Thus, He knew He must leave Capernaum and preach elsewhere, even though the people begged Him to stay. Prayer and proclamation were also the priority of the apostles (cf. Acts 6:1-7). [1]

No comments: