The Authority of Jesus

Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea
Jesus Teaches People by the Sea (Public Domain)

Reading the Word

Luke 4:31–37 (ESV)

31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Jesus’ teaching was shocking to people. It was different than the teaching of the other religious leaders. He constantly went against what others had taught and claimed that he had the authority of God behind him. To prove his authority, he performed miracles in front of the people. In today’s passage, he commanded that a demon come out of a man. Even the demon recognized Jesus’ authority and obeyed him. Jesus’ powerful displays caused his fame to spread quickly.

We live in a world today where everyone wants to decide for themselves what is right and wrong or good and bad. “Who are you to judge me?” is the cry of our culture. We have come to the conclusion that we all get to decide our own “truths”. Jesus turns that idea on its head. He proclaims, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He claims the authority of God and says that if we do not heed his words that judgment and condemnation will come. He also taught that if we repent and believe that we will be saved. Jesus taught with authority. Will we listen?

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