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Power and Authority

January 31, 2016 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Epiphany

Passage: Luke 4:31–4:44

+++In the Name of Jesus+++

Pastor Murray Keith

Text: Luke 4:31-44

Date: January 31st, 2016; Epiphany 4; Series C

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

This morning we continue our journey through the season of Epiphany – the time in which we focus our attention on how Jesus is revealed as the Messiah.

We clearly see that this man, Jesus Christ, is no ordinary man.

He is not simply a great teacher, or medical doctor, or spiritual leader. He is not just a great prophet.

He is the Son of God! He is God in the flesh who has come to bring us forgiveness and everlasting life!

Our gospel lesson for this morning describes three events that reveal Jesus for who he really is - the promised Messiah.

The first event describes Jesus teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath.

And this was no ordinary sermon. Jesus’ teaching, his Word, had authority.

His message was that everything they had learned from Scripture up to that point - is fulfilled in him.

He is the promised Messiah they are waiting for. He is the promised One who has come to deliver and restore his people.

Just imagine being taught the Word from Jesus - who is the Word made flesh!

The people were astonished! They had never heard teaching like this. They were hanging on to every word.

But all of the sudden there was a terrible interruption.

A man possessed by an unclean spirit could no longer tolerate what he was hearing. He could no longer endure being in the presence of the Holy One.

This unclean spirit knew that his time was coming to an end, and in fear blurted out, “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.”

What the unclean spirit said is true. It is too bad that the world does not recognize this truth the same way that the demons do.

The demons know Jesus is God in the flesh who has come into the world to defeat all evil and to be the Saviour of the nations.

The world does not know this.

Some think that Jesus is a myth.

Some think that Jesus was simply a good man who did and taught nice things and we should try our best to be like him.

It is interesting that the world does not recognize Jesus for who he is, yet evil spirits do.

Evil recognizes Jesus for who he is and scrambles to cause separation between us and our Lord.

Disruptions, distractions, pride, complacency, doubt, despair, anger – whatever it takes, Satan and his legion work hard to disconnect us from God and his salvation for us.

Jesus had no time for this demon’s disruption, “Be silent and come out of him!” our Lord demanded.

And once again, the truth about Jesus is revealed.

He is the Son of God with all power and authority. At Jesus’ Word the demon was gone.

The people were amazed and reports about what he had done spread quickly.

The second event recorded in our text happened at Simon Peter’s house on this same Sabbath Day.

Peter’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever and they asked Jesus if he could do something for her.

And once again, the truth about Jesus is revealed.

He is divine. He is all powerful. He rebuked the fever and immediately Peter’s mother-in-law was up and serving them.

Finally, when the sun was setting on that Sabbath Day, people with sickness, various diseases, and others possessed with evil spirits, were being brought to Jesus for his healing touch.

And our gracious, merciful, and loving Saviour healed all of them.

The common thread through all of three of these events is the power and authority of Jesus.

Jesus speaks to nature and nature listens and obeys.

Jesus speaks to spiritual powers and they listen and obey.

The same power and authority that said “let there be light,” now rebuked a fever, other illnesses, and demonic spirits.

The people who came to Jesus for healing remind us that we live in a broken world.

Every sickness, every demon possession, every hardship that we experience is a consequence of sin in this world.

Death, something we all face, is an especially cruel reminder of our sin.

We are born with a sinful nature and it is passed down from generation to generation.

We sin in our thoughts, words, and actions.

We are born into a broken world and our own sin adds to that brokenness.

The Good News is that Jesus brought his power and authority into this world to undo the damage that sin has done.

He is the powerful and authoritative Word made flesh.

Every sickness that he healed, every demon that he cast out, every person that he raised from the dead was a reversal of the curse of sin.

Every healing was a sign that points forward to the ultimate and eternal healing that we have in Jesus.

These signs point forward to the eternal healing he won for us on the cross where he suffered the eternal consequence of our sin, were he endured the full punishment of our sin.

As God promised through his prophet Isaiah, “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

The eternal healing that Jesus gives to us was proven by his resurrection from the dead.

Through his resurrection it is revealed that sin, death, the devil (all evil!) has been defeated.

We share in this victory and we will hear the power and authority of Christ’s Word on the Last Day when he will say, “Arise” - and we will arise.

Christ's Word is powerful and it has authority.

It has what we need. It does what it says.

Don't let it gather dust during the week.

Don't be afraid to meditate upon it in your daily devotions, to study it with your brothers and sisters in Christ, to let it dwell in you richly.

Christ's Word is powerful and it has authority.

It has the power and authority to rebuke sickness, fevers, and demons.

It has the power and authority to forgive and cleanse you of all of your sin, leaving you holy and righteous.

It has the power and authority to bless you and keep you - in this life and in the eternal life to come. Amen!

+ + +

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Epiphany

February 26, 2017

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

February 19, 2017

Epiphany 7

February 12, 2017

Epiphany 6