1 Week Bible Immersion Experience – Day three!
Luke 4:31-37 : 31Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. 32They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority. 33In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34″Ha! 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. 36All 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!” 37And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Jesus full of the Holy Spirit begins His public ministry. And what marks the start of His ministry? First he teaches, then He heals. His teaching has ‘authority’ which in the greek is exousia which means that Jesus spoke with great energy and freedom, a message full of power! When He spoke people would have listened and responded.
I do a lot of speaking, and I am realising the absolute need to rely on God’s power when I speak rather than attempting to entertain.
When I spoke at a conference in Malaysia recently I started with the passage from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
And this really is my new approach to public speaking.. not my power, but God’s power!
And then once Jesus has finished teaching He then heals the man, releasing him from the clutches of a demon. Jesus not only communicates to the crowds through His teaching, but He cares for the individual. And this is something I know personally.
I became a Christian at the age of 14 through a dramatic conversion where I went from having no idea about God, where I lived a life full of stealing, parties and doing what I pleased, to serving God with all my heart. And it shares a connection with the Luke reading today!
I was caught stealing, and ashamed I ran away from home, and while on the run I had a word come into my head: ‘demonic’. As time passed this word became more and more persistent till eventually it consumed my thoughts. I eventually headed home and grabbed the family dictionary to try and find out what this word meant. The definition completely shocked me, they read: ‘possessed by a demon.’ Up until that point I had no idea about the spiritual realm, no church upbringing.. nothing.. and I had a demon in me?
I called a mate of mine who I knew was a Christian, and he taught me the sinners prayer, so in the confines of my bedroom, having never prayed before, I fell to my knees and spoke my sin, told God that if He could sort me out I would serve Him the rest of my life; and then invited Jesus into my heart. A rush of love like a wind swept through my body and I felt completely new, full and overflowing with God’s love!
So I have been freed from demon possession, released from the cage of sin and despair and I have found new life, and seek to remain in the presence of God all the days of my life!
For many of us we need to turn to Jesus to be freed from the bondage of sin, for it is only God who can heal us. Do you need Jesus?
What are your thoughts and feelings on this amazing passage?
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