The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 4:20-37 ~ Jesus’ Ministry from Acceptance to Rejection ~ Jesus Proves His Authority by Teaching the Word and Exercising Demons

Vol. 18, No. 26 – July 14, 2019

7 14 19 - Luke 4 vs 31-37 - Jesus proves His claims and authority by teaching the Word and exercising a demonThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 4

III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14 – 9:50.

A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30.

B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.

1. Over demons, Luke 4:31-37.

2. Over disease, Luke 4:38-44.

A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30

Next in vs. 20-30, we have a scene that in essence sums up the course of Jesus’ entire ministry culminating in Jerusalem and the Crucifixion. Though the people do not kill Him here, because it was not His day or hour, we see the progression from acceptance to rejection in His hometown that sums up the attitudes of Israel in general.

Vs. 20-21

Following Jesus’ readings in Hebrew, a translation would be made into Aramaic, the common language of first-century Palestine. But when Jesus finished reading, He “rolled up,” PTUSSO, πτύσσω (only used here in the NT, cf. vs. 17), the scroll and handed it to the “attendant” in charge of the sacred Scriptures. The Greek name for this person is HUPERETES, ὑπηρέτης meaning, “a servant, attendant, minister, or officer.”

The phrase, “the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him,” can have either a positive or negative connotation based on the context of the passage. Here, it appears positive as they were intently concentrating on what Jesus was saying, and as vs. 22, tells us, “all were speaking well of Him and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips.” It is not until vs. 28, which may have been a different day as noted below, that they turned in anger towards Him. So, at this time, they were still impressed by Him.

After Jesus reads from Isaiah 61 and 58:6d, He declares that they are “fulfilled today.” As we noted above, this being associated with the year of Jubilee, would have been understood as a reference to a new age of release and forgiveness for the nation.

Fulfilled,” is the Verb PLEROO, πληρόω that means here to “bring about, bring to completion, or fulfill.” “The term “fulfilled” is not as prominent in Luke as in Matthew. Usually it occurs with a unique Lukan meaning. Only here and in the Emmaus conversation (24:44) does Luke use the word in relation to the fulfillment of OT prophecy, and in both cases the Matthean formula “to fulfill what was spoken” is lacking. These two lone references to fulfillment stand out then at the beginning and end of Jesus’ public appearances, emphasizing the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose in the ministry of Christ.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary.)

Here the reference is the prophecies that have been spoken about the Messiah, cf. Luke 21:22; 24:44. As such, Jesus was bringing the prophesied salvation to the world by fulfilling God the Father’s plan for salvation.

Jesus was to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy exactly. As we noted above He would:

1. “Preach good news to the poor,” PTOCHOS, who were largely neglected by the religious leadership of His day. But more importantly, we are all poor wretched sinners, and Jesus brought salvation to us all.

2. “Proclaim deliverance to the captives,” KERUSSO APHESIS AICHMALOTOS, where the Adjective AICHMALOTOS is only used here in the NT. It is a military term which literally means, “one captured by a spear.” It is a person in desperate need of God’s deliverance. Jesus accepted His Messianic role of the preacher of freedom to the spiritual captives, those held under the bondage of sin, cf. Rom 7:23. Jesus demonstrated this upon His ascension in Eph 4:9, using the cognate verb and noun.

Eph 4:8, “Therefore it says, ‘when He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.” Cf. Psa 68:18.

3. “Bring sight to the blind,” the Adjective, TUPHLOS, τυφλός as He did for the blind beggar of Jerusalem, John 9; cf. Luke 7:21-22; 18:35-43. However, there was a spiritual significance also in the fulfillment of the prophecy. He would give spiritual sight so people could understand God’s plan of Salvation for them.

4. “To set free those who are oppressed,” The deliverance would be from the bondage of sin, Satan, and Satan’s cosmic system.

This would be more than one year of Jubilee, which a person could probably enjoy only once in a lifetime; it would be an unending era of joy and happiness for all eternity.

Vs. 22

Luke 4:22, “And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?”

In vs. 22, they spoke well of Him at first, but then the doubt started to creep in. Satan was working on their thoughts and minds so that they would not accept Him. They first approved of Jesus’ marvelous teaching and miraculous works, but were at a loss to view Him as the Messiah because their extreme familiarity with His humanity. It made it hard for them to believe in His Divinity, by which alone His actions would be rightly explained. Just as Satan tempted Jesus by parlaying His Divinity against His Humanity, he used the same tactic to negatively influence the people of Nazareth.

Principle: Satan tries to get you to doubt the power of God and His Word in you by getting you to focus on your human limitations or lusts.

Is this not Joseph’s son?”, gives us the first clue of doubt coming from their minds. Though they had received His works and words favorably, they could not look past His familiar humanity to see Him for truly what He was. Other similar gospel accounts go beyond this and include Mary, His brothers, and His sisters in the doubting questioning minds of the Nazarenes, Mat 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 6:42.

Vs. 23

Luke 4:23, “And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well’”.”

Jesus may have visited Nazareth at least twice, cf. Mat 4:12-13. Luke may have combined vs. 23-30 from His second visit to His first, cf. Mat 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6.

Quote this proverb,” does not mean this is a proverb from the book of Proverbs, but rather it was a common saying or expression of the day. We could also call this a parable, as parables compare natural objects with spiritual objects in order to teach a theological truth, and they can sometimes take the form of a proverb.

Physician heal yourself,” was apparently a common idiom or proverb of the day. It came about due to the fact that a physician or medical doctor, who could heal others, would sometimes need to prove their talent to heal by healing themselves. In other words, it meant, “prove yourself to us,” or maybe they were from Missouri, the “show me state.”

In this case, the Nazarenes had heard of the many healings and miracles Jesus performed around the region of Galilee and Capernaum, but had not seen Him perform any in His “home town.”

Jesus performed healings and miracles for two reasons:

1. Compassion. He healed people to relieve them of their physical, mental, and spiritual burdens, simply because He loved them.

2. Authentication. He performed miracles to give the people proof that He was the Messiah and a tangible reason to believe His words.

Each healing or miracle was a supernatural validation of His identity, a “sign,” that he was the Messiah.

Since Jesus was a Nazarene, “healing Himself,” meant to perform healings in Nazareth. In other words, they wanted to see His healing and miraculous powers for themselves. That is noted in the second half of the proverb, “Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” Remember, “the Jews ask for signs,” 1 Cor 1:22.

The reason Jesus stated this as their argument was due to His perception of their unbelief that He was the Messiah. Jesus, who had grown up in Nazareth and spent more or less than 30 years there, was very familiar to the town’s people. They could not comprehend this boy that they knew to be the promised Messiah. And, as we know from Scripture, He never performed a miracle in His home town prior to beginning His ministry. Nevertheless, Jesus, upon beginning His ministry, performed many miracles in the Capernaum region providing more than enough evidence to the Nazarenes that He was the Messiah. Twice in the early part of His ministry He had been at Cana, within a few miles of Nazareth, and turning away from it had gone down to Capernaum. Therefore, He did not call upon His townsmen to believe in Him or His Divine mission until the evidences were so full that they could not deny them.

In addition, Jesus would perform several healing in Nazareth, as we will see, but they may have been more private incidences compared to the more public ones done in Capernaum.

Therefore, this was a challenge to Him to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy by doing miracles in the presence of those who heard Him. Throughout His ministry, Jesus would be challenged to do miraculous signs to prove His claims, e.g., Luke 11:16, 29.

This is also a precursor to one of His final challenges upon the Cross, “Save Yourself,” Mat 27:40; Mark 15:30; Luke 23:35, 37, 39.

Yet, Jesus was challenging their faith and the proverb, “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe,” John 20:29.

Vs. 24

Luke 4:24, “And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.” Cf. Mat 13:57; Mark 6:4; John 4:44.

Interestingly, the comment on how the prophet is “not welcome” in His own land used the word DEKTOS for “welcome” that we noted in vs. 19, for the “favorable / acceptable year of the Lord.” Jesus is using a play on this word, where in vs. 19, He proclaimed the Messiah was here by being the “acceptable year,” while in this verse, He recognized that the Messiah is NOT accepted. “The double use of this word in this context may be intended to show that though God desires to accept the people, they do not respond by accepting the prophet who tells them of God’s grace.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary.)

This also tells us that He recognizes His ministry is to be characterized by rejection. Despite the actualization of the promises of eschatological salvation, Israel fails to accept God’s messenger.

This is also the principle of familiarity that breeds contempt. Many times when we are familiar with a person and know their past history, we reject their present witness. This tells us two things, first for ourselves and then regarding others.

1. Regarding ourselves, we should understand that our actions have consequences on our ministry in proclaiming Jesus as Savior. If we live a life that dabbles with sin in the presence of others, it will in their mind nullify the words that come out of our mouths about Christ. We should never think that people should just accept the things we say about God and Jesus, just because they are about God and Jesus. No! We are His ambassadors of Christ and represent our Sovereign every day. In order for our words about Him to be accepted, we must demonstrate the life style of our King! We cannot live like the devil, and then think our words about the Christ will be accepted. Therefore, we are to live each day in the “Christ-like” nature, representing our Sovereign Messiah Jesus Christ, as if He were actually here, which He is!

2. As for our perspective of others, we should not hold grudges or pettiness towards others because of their past behavior. If we do, we will be missing out on what God has for us today. It is very hard for people to forget about someone’s past. But, if we believe in repentance, and we do, we recognize that someone can change their ways so as to be a vessel of honor to God that He can use to serve you.

Nevertheless, Jesus lived a sinless life, yet due to familiarity with His hometown people, they had a hard time accepting Him as The Prophet, The King, The Messiah, The Savior. They just saw the little boy they used to know, cf. Mat 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6.

In vs. 25-30, we see the rejection of the Messiah as anticipated by Jesus in using two OT examples during the ministries of Elijah and Elisha.

Vs. 25-27

Anticipating their unbelief and unrighteous demands to perform miracles, He turned their objection around. He pointed to Israel’s long history of ignoring and even abusing God’s prophets and messengers, in the hopes that they would realize Israel’s past mistakes and change their ways, i.e., their viewpoint toward Him.

Principle, We need to recognize our past mistake of living like the devil and change our ways to living in the “Christ-like” nature.

This scene of the “days of Elijah” can be found in 1 Kings 17; 18:41-45; cf. James 5:17, when God had to discipline the people of Israel, due to their rejection of Him, via the rejection of the Prophet Elijah’s message.

James 5:17-18, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

This scene also shows God reaching out to and healing the Gentile peoples in the story of the widow Zarephath of Sidon, and in vs. 27, during the time of Elisha with the healing of the Gentile army general Naaman of Syria, 2 Kings 5:1-14.

Zarephath, (ZAIR-uh-fath), means “dyeing” or “refinement.” It was a small Phoenician town within the domain of Sidon that lies between Tyre and Sidon. It was conquered successively by Sennacherib and Esarhaddon of Assyria, and the latter awarded the city to Tyre. Elijah stayed with a widow and her son there, through the period of drought and famine. She took care of Elijah from her meager supplies, and her obedience was rewarded by a miraculous supply of meal and oil that was not depleted until the drought ended. While Elijah was staying with the widow, her son became ill and died. By the power of prayer, the child was restored to life and good health. In NT times, it was known by the Greek name, Sarepta. It was located on the coast of Palestine, about 8 miles south of Sidon. Cf. Obadiah 1:20.

In this account of Elijah, we see the ironic point that while he was rejected by a Jewish king, he was welcomed by a Gentile.

Elisha heals Naaman, 2 Kings 5:1-19: NAAMAN, (nay’ uh muhn), whose personal name means, “pleasantness,” was a Syrian general cured of leprosy under the direction of the prophet Elisha. “A Jewish tradition at least as old as the time of Josephus, and which may very well be a genuine one identifies him with the archer whose arrow, whether at random or not, struck Ahab with his mortal wound, and thus “gave deliverance to Syria.” The expression in 2 Kings 5:1, is remarkable—”because that by him Jehovah had given deliverance to Syria.” The most natural explanation perhaps is that Naaman in delivering his country, had killed one who was the enemy of Jehovah not less than he was of Syria. Whatever the particular exploit referred to was, it had given Naaman a great position at the court of Ben-hadad.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)

His healing came through the influence of a Hebrew slave-maid in his household, who persuaded Naaman’s wife that Elisha could heal her husband. The Assyrian king, (thought to be Ben-hadad II from Josephus, Ant. 8.15.5), sent his general to the Israelite ruler with instructions for Naaman to be healed. Naaman’s leprosy apparently was not contagious, nor was it seen as the result of some moral sin. The afflicted man was sent to Elisha in Samaria for healing, but the king of Israel, Joram, was filled with suspicion and alarm by the demands of the letter, and tore his clothes; but Elisha the prophet intervened, and sent word to Naaman that he must bathe himself seven times in the Jordan. Reluctant at first, Naaman finally obeyed and was cured of his affliction. Following his cleansing, he professed faith in Israel’s God and in gratitude the Syrian leader acknowledged the power of Israel’s God. “‘His memory is perpetuated by a leper hospital which occupies the traditional site of his house in Damascus, on the banks of the Abana.’ Schaff.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)

In 2 Kings 5:18, “The Aramean god Rimmon is an epithet for Baal Hadad, the Canaanite storm god (Cogan and Tadmor, AB, 65, suggest that “Rimmon” is derived from the Semitic root rmm, “to thunder”). The name “Rimmon” appears also in the personal name “Tabrimmon,” father of the Aramean king Ben-Hadad (“son of [the god] Hadad”) in 1 Kings 15:18.”  (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

We also see in this narrative in vs. 20-27, the greed of the Jewish servant to Elisha named Gehazi. Therefore, as Jesus was using this example of the faithful gentile, they also understood the discipline to the greedy Jewish servant.

Using this Scripture, Jesus “is trying to show them that they, His own people, were apt to miss a great blessing because they would not accept who He was. They would be like the many widows and the many lepers of Israel who were not healed during the time of Elijah.” (Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.)

Also notice that in both examples, the faithful Gentiles believed the word that they heard and acted upon it. They believed without seeing, which resulted in miraculous provisions and healings from God. They did not need to see the miracle to receive the miracle. They believed the Word and as a result received the miracle.

Likewise, in both examples we see the One true God, the God of Israel, being triumphant over the gods / Baal’s of the other nations. Jesus was the God/Man who came to bring salvation and deliverance over sin and Satan’s cosmic system to the entire world. Therefore, Jesus was reminding them that Israel’s God was also the God over the people of Sidon, Asyria, Syria, and every other nation of the world. He is the One True God of both Jew and Gentile, Cf. Amos 9:7; Joshua 4:24; Deut 32:39.

Amos 9:7, “Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?” declares the LORD. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?”

Joshua 4:24, “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”

Deut 32:39, “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.”

Our God has always been a God of love for any and all peoples.

Principle: God’s grace is available for everyone. Don’t be a hypocrite by loving grace for yourself but abhorring it for others.

Therefore, just as Elijah and Elisha were better received outside of Israel, so too would the gospel message be better received among the Gentiles. As such, the contrast between native and foreign land (Jews and Gentiles) in Luke 4:23-24, (i.e., Nazareth and Capernaum), is illustrated by the examples of Elijah and Elisha where the rejection of the Jews and the acceptance of the Gentiles is implied.

Vs. 28-30

The mention of these two prophets in those scenarios caused the crowd to become quite angry with Jesus. Jesus said that the prophets healed Gentiles because of Israel’s unbelief. Jesus was warning them that rejecting Him was like the unfaithfulness of one of the worst periods in Israel’s history. These two events are mentioned together to highlight the consequences of Israel’s disobedience.

The people were all enamored with Jesus when He spoke about grace being given to them / Israel, but when He spoke about grace being given to the faithful Gentiles, and judgment upon unbelieving Israel, they were quick to kill Him.

The application to the congregation in Nazareth, (and us today), was obvious. If they wanted evidence that Jesus’ claims to the poor, the blind, the captives, and the oppressed were true, all they had to do was trust Him and there would be ample evidence. But they did not.

As the people were insulted by the widow’s story, the next example brought even greater anger. “The fine citizens of Nazareth had heard enough. It was bad enough to be told that they were poor and blind and captive and oppressed, but now to be told they were less spiritual and less wise than the Gentiles, both Naaman and the widow, was just too much!” (Preaching the Word.)

The Nazarenes were so enraged at Jesus’ last announcement that they wanted to throw Him off of a cliff, as Nazareth was built on a hillside. Seeing Him as a false prophet, their self-righteousness led them to want to kill Him. The little boy / young man that they knew was now an enemy of the state. “The rage of the people results from the obvious teaching that the Jews do not occupy an exclusive place in the blessings of God, but that God’s help comes to those who have faith, irrespective of class or race.” (The Believer’s Study Bible.)

As a result, Jesus allowed them to “drive Him out of the city,” which also was a prelude to His crucifixion days, John 19:17; Heb 13:12.

Heb 13:12, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”

Finally, in vs. 30, Jesus eluded the crowd as He does several more times throughout His ministry, John 7:30; 8:59; 10:39. Whether these were supernatural evadings or not is not indicated in the texts. But, as I have stated above, it was also part of “not tempting the Lord your God,” as Jesus did not look for the Father to miraculously save Him at this time.

B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.

1. Over demons, Luke 4:31-37.

We now begin to see Jesus’ proof of His ministry, as He exercises demons and heals the sick. As we noted above, there are two reasons why Jesus performed miracles and healings:

1. Compassion. He healed people to relieve them of their physical, mental, and spiritual burdens, simply because He loved them.

2. Authentication. He performed miracles to give the people proof that He was the Messiah and a tangible reason to believe His words.

Here, we are noting the authentication of His ministry, as Luke begin His public ministry with exorcisms and healings in vs. 31-44.

Vs. 31

In vs. 31, “going down to Capernaum” is used because Nazareth was built in the hills and Capernaum is near the Sea of Galilee, a literal decent. Nazareth is located about 1200 feet above sea level, Capernaum is situated by the Sea of Galilee which is 686 feet below sea level. Capernaum, Kapernaoum, Καπερναούμ is a city on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus made His home, Mat 4:13; Mark 2:1.

Vs. 32 
They were amazed, (Imperfect, Passive, Indicative of the Verb EKPLESSO, ἐκπλήσσω “be amazed, overwhelmed, or strike with astonishment that denotes a profound reaction associated with shock), at His teaching, (DIDACHE), for His message (LOGOS) was with authority, (EXOUSIA, authority, right, power to rule).” Notice that in the parallel of Mark 1:22, it states, “… and not as the scribes.

EXOUSIA means, “The power or authority to do a thing, freedom to action, right to act, power over, license in a thing, an office, magistracy, or place or body of authority.”

The Scribes would typically support their teaching by what others had previously stated. Jesus taught from the Bible and used the direct authority of the Word of God to support His teachings, not what someone else had said. In addition, Jesus’ teaching was the true Word of God rather than the corrupt self-righteous legalistic teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees.

Vs. 33

Luke 4:33, “In the synagogue there was a man possessed, (ECHO, to have or hold, posses), by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice.”

It is interesting where we find this “demon possessed” man in the synagogue or as we would say today, the church. Not all who attend church are believers! “We do not have to go farther than the assembly of God’s people to find evidence of the enemy’s work. Satan loves to oppose Christ’s work right where the Lord is meant to be worshiped.” (Christ-Centered Exposition)

“The spirit of an unclean demon,” PNEUMA AKATHARTOS DIAMONION. DIAMONION is the more frequently used term for “demon” in the NT compared to DIAMON. It is a term for the fallen angels of Satan’s cosmic system. These are the angels that are behind all false gods throughout history, Psa 96:5; Ex 12:12; Isa 19:3.

Psa 96:5, “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.”

Ex 12:12, “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD.”

These demons are superhuman beings, though inferior to God. They promote idolatry, 1 Cor 10:20, and they often cause mental illness and/or disease, Mat 12:22; 17:15, 18; Mark 9:18, though not all disease is a result of demon possession. Luke, a physician, distinguishes between demon possession, mental illness and disease as do the other Synoptic Gospels, Luke 4:40, 41; 7:21, 22; Mat 4:23, 24; 8:16; 10:8; Mark 6:13. Demon possession is listed with a variety of symptoms of other diseases including pain, epilepsy, and paralysis. The Gospel writers could distinguish between demon possession and these other diseases.

Demon Possession:

Demon possession is only possible for the unbeliever. The believer who is indwelt with all three members of the Trinity cannot be demon possessed, but in carnality or reversionism can be demonically influenced.

Demon Possession is the control of an individual’s personality so that actions are influenced by an evil demonic spirit. The signs of demon possession in the NT include: speechlessness, Mat 9:33; deafness, Mark 9:25; blindness, Mat 12:22; fierceness, Mat 8:28; unusual strength, Mark 5:4; convulsions, Mark 1:26; and foaming at the mouth, Luke 9:39. Most of the NT references to demon possession appear in the Gospels and represent the outburst of satanic opposition to God’s work in Christ.

The characteristics of demon-possession can be as varied as the activities of demons, ranging from mild to severe and even bizarre. A few specific symptoms of demon-possession are described in the Bible, which includes the following physical and mental abnormalities like:

a) Dumbness, blindness, and convulsions, Mat 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:15-18; Mark 1:26; 9:20; Luke 9:39.

b) Tendencies to self-destruction, Mat 17:15; Mark 5:5; Luke 9:42.

c) Abnormally violent, Mat 8:28.

d) Inflict suffering, illnesses and deformities, Mark 9:20; Luke 9:29; 13:11-17.

e) Insanity, Mark 5:5; Luke 8:26-35; John 10:20.

f) Nakedness in public, Luke 8:27.

g) Grinding the teeth, Mark 9:18.

h) Living among dead bodies, Mark 5:3.

i) Superhuman strength, Mark 5:3-4; Luke 8:29; Acts 19:15-16.

j) Occult powers, Acts 16:16-18.

The Bible clearly distinguishes demon-induced diseases from illnesses due to other more natural causes, Mat 4:24; Mark 1:32-42; Luke 7:21; 9:1; Acts 5:16.

Mat 4:24, “The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.”

Descriptions of the experience of demon possession do not separate the actions of the possessed person from the actions of the demon, Mark 1:23; Luke 8:28. The power of the demon dominates the personality of the possessed person. Such bizarre behavior as masochism, Mark 5:5, and an unnatural voice, Mark 5:7, stems from the demon’s control of the individual’s self-expression.

The cure for demon possession in the NT is always faith in the power of Christ. The NT never shows Jesus or the apostles using magical rites to deliver the afflicted from demon possession. Whenever Christ spoke the word, the demons were forced to obey Him, Mark 1:27; Luke 4:41. Jesus entrusted this same power of exorcism to His disciples as they went out on mission for Him, Mat 10:8.

Cried out,” is the Verb ANAKRAZO, ἀνακράζω that means, “scream aloud, shriek, or cry out.” Interestingly, this word is for demons, “crying out to Jesus” so that He would not punish them, Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33; 8:28, and for the fearful apostles who thought Jesus was a ghost, Mark 6:49, and for the crowd that wanted to crucify Jesus. That has to tell you something about that crowd!!!

Vs. 34

Luke 4:34, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

Notice that the demon uses the plural “we” and “us.” It means that there was more than one demon possessing this gentleman, as also noted in the parallel account in Mark 1:21-28. And when we compare Mat 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-12; Luke 8:26-32, we see a scenario of the “legion” of demons possessing this man who Jesus then exercises and sent into a heard of swine.

Interestingly, these are considered, “unclean spirits,” AKATHARTOS PNEUMA, in Luke 4:33 and elsewhere, and swine or pigs were one of the major “unclean” animals that God forbade to eat during the Age of the Law. So, our Lord’s humor was in view, as He sent unclean spirits into unclean animals who proceeded to kill themselves.

The demons plea was to “Let us alone!” They did not want to have anything to do with Jesus because they knew who He was, along with the power and authority He possessed.

“What business do we have with each other,” is an interesting statement and is in the Greek written as a Hebrew idiom, “What to us and to you.” This idiom was also used by the “legion” of demons in Mat 8:29. There we have a clue as to what the intent of this statement was as they stated, “have you come here to torment us before the time?” In Luke’s account this group of demons states, “Have you come to destroy us?

Destroy,” here and in Mark 1:24, is the Aorist, Active, Infinitive of the Verb APOLLUMI, ἀπόλλυμι that means, “destroy, ruin, kill, lose, be lost, perish, to put to death.” In the Septuagint APOLLUMI is used for at least 38 different Hebrew words; most often it equals AVADH, “to be lost, or to perish.” It usually refers to destruction in this life, but some texts suggest destruction in the hereafter. In the NT, it is used about 90 times and means, “eternal destruction and ruin.”

In Mat 8:29, Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28, the word used is BASANIZO that means, “torment or examine by torture.” Luke 8:31, also uses “the Abyss,” which is a temporary holding place for the criminal demonic angels, cf. Rev 9:1f, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3.

Luke 8:31, “They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.”

Therefore, it gives us a vivid view into the suffering of the Eternal Lake of Fire. The “fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (i.e., demons) will destroy their dominion, Mat 25:41, and God will condemn them to a punishment of eternal fire, Jude 6. This tells us that the demons all know that there is a coming Day of Judgment for them, when they would be thrown into the Lake of Fire forever. It is sad that all unbelievers of the human race do not know this.

Remember James 2:19, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”

Yet, this was not the time for this kind of Judgment; that will be upon His Second Advent. At this time, Jesus was expressing His compassion towards the afflicted in analogy to what He would do for the sins of the entire world, as well as demonstrate and thereby prove His claims of Messiahship, through the exercise of His preeminent power and authority as the Son of God.

Notice that these demons identify Him as “Jesus of Nazareth,” even though they were in Capernaum. The demons know full well of the life and times of Jesus during His First Advent. And not only that, they also know that He is the eternal 2nd Person of the Trinity as the “Son of God,” by stating, “I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

“The Holy One of God,” is HO HAGIOS HO THEOS. This title is only used here and in Mark 1:24 and John 6:69. In John 6:69, we have Peter’s confession as to who Jesus was, “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” In Mark 5:7 the demon used the phrase “Son of the Most High God,” cf. Mat 4:3 

This is a phrase predominantly used by Isaiah of the OT to identify the One true God, the God of Israel, cf. Psa 71:22; 78:41; Isa 29:23; 30:15; 43:3; 47:17; 54:5. So, we see that this demon is identifying Jesus Christ as the One True God, the God of Israel who is now in their presence. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the God of Israel.

Psa 71:22, “I will also praise You with a harp, even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.” 

Isa 29:23, “But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will sanctify My name; Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.”

Isa 30:15, “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing.”

Isa 43:3, “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.”

Isa 48:17, “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.”

Isa 54:5, “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.”

Those who should have known Him, those who should have recognized Him as having been sent by the Father, failed to understand who He was, yet a rebellious demon clearly knew who He was. 

Also, notice that this demon now uses the first person singular of OIDA for “I know.” That gives us a clue into the hierarchy of the angelic realm, even the fallen angels. Even though there were many demons possessing this man, only one had the authority to speak, and to speak for all the others. This reminds us of Eph 6:11-12, where we are given a glimpse into the hierarchy of the angelic realm that Satan heads.

Vs. 35

Luke 4:35, “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.”

This was the first of Jesus’ miracles recorded in Luke’s Gospel. In the other Gospels we see the changing of water into wine at the wedding of Cana being His first recorded miracle, but in Luke’s this is it!

In authority Jesus “rebuked him,” the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb EPITIMAO, ἐπιτιμάω, “rebuke, censure, warn, admonish.” This passage demonstrated the authority of Jesus over the angelic realm, specifically here the demonic angelic realm. Jesus was speaking directly to the leader of this legion of demons as He uses the first person singular personal Pronoun AUTOS in the command and rebuke. We will see Jesus also rebuking the fear and illnesses that gripped the people He healed, vs. 39, as well as the wind upon the sea in Mark 4:39.

When Jesus tells him to “be quiet,” the Aorist, Passive, Imperative of the Verb PHIMOO, φιμόω that means, “muzzle, tie shut, or silence,” he was using a command regarding animals. First from Deut 25:4 “ you shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” Paul used it regarding the Pastor/Teacher who should not have to work outside of the church to provide for himself or his family, 1 Cor 9:9; 1 Tim 5:18. It is also used for Jesus silencing the Pharisees who were constantly trying to trap Him in His words, Mat 22:12, 34; cf. 1 Peter 2:15. Jesus also rebuked the wind of that great storm upon the sea where He came to the disciples, and it was silenced in Mark 4:39. And here, in Mark 1:25 Jesus rebuking the demons commanded them to be silent upon His exorcism of them. He did not need a false witness, though what he said was true! He did not want their acknowledgement of Him to mislead the people, as Jesus would later be accused of being in league with Beelzebul or Satan, Mat 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15.

Vs. 36-37

Luke 4:36-37, “And amazement (THAMBOS) came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” 37And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.”

“Amazement,” is the Noun THAMBOS, θάμβος, “amazement, astonishment, wonder.” It is only used by Luke here and 5:9 and Acts 3:10. It can be associated with fear, as well as amazement. It is a synonym of EXPLESSO of vs. 32 that denotes a profound reaction associated with shock. So the slight difference with THAMBOS is the association of fear that the people had here after they saw the exorcism.

Here, the people’s amazement was at the “authority, (EXOUSIA – power to rule) and power, (DUNAMIS inherent power),” that Jesus demonstrated in front of them. As a result, the people spoke about Him, “report about Him,” (ECHOS, “sound, noise, report, or rumor [cf. PHEME “news,” of vs. 14]), throughout the surrounding area, “PERICHOROS,” cf. vs 14. By this miracle Jesus demonstrated His actual possession of the authority which He had just assumed in His teaching.

Interestingly, in vs. 33, the word “possessed” is the Verb ECHO, and here in vs. 37, the word for “report” or “rumor” is the Noun ECHOS from the Verb ECHEO. Do you think Jesus and Luke were trying a “play on words” between the demon possessed and murmurers?

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#19-069 & 19-071

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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