on the road

Luke 4 v 36. All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”

At this point in Luke’s story about Jesus, he introduces an event that happened in Capernaum, not too far from Nazareth, and illustrates our Lord’s claim to deliver the oppressed.

The demon manifested itself through its poor victim in a synagogue service. Read what the devil said in verse 34. Ironic isn’t it, that the demons recognized Jesus when the people did not.

But here we have a picture of Christ at war with evil forces. What does Jesus use to do battle? Answer – His word. “Be quiet,” He said sternly. Or if you like He rebuked the evil spirit. His word was loaded with His unique authority and of course the evil spirit was overcome and left the man.

Here are three elements in this story to remember. First, the Word of God is always primary. Jesus spoke! In our spiritual warfare today we must always remember to believe what God says and to trust His word.

Secondly, the authority of Jesus is an indication of the uniqueness of His person. We can therefore rest assured that this great Saviour who announced that all who trust in Him would never be turned away, will keep His word and by the power vested in Him, he will truly save us. We need never doubt His love nor his ability to help us.

Thirdly, notice that demons recognized the person of Jesus. The identity of Jesus has been attacked in almost every generation. The cults always get the identity of Jesus wrong. Other faiths also get him wrong. To all, except these who have the eye of faith, Jesus is an enigma. There is a natural reticence to recognize him for who he is because this has too many personal implications. But the evil spirit had no such problem. “Jesus of Nazareth,” “Holy One of God,” “Have you come to destroy us.” Take a moment to read, 1 John 3 v 8. Ultimately Jesus’s ministry will do just that.

Do not be fooled by the world. Do not be swayed by the glib talk of friends who know nothing about real spiritual life. No matter how hard times may be, keep trusting in Jesus Christ who has ultimate power over all your circumstances.