Let’s open the Bible to Luke 4:31-36.
Jesus had been preaching and teaching in Nazareth (his hometown) and being rejected by the “religious” leaders. Christ left and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath day.
“In the synagogue there was a man, which had an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the holy one of God.
“And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.”
From these Scriptures we have one day with Jesus. Doctor Luke makes this possible. Both Matthew and Mark also record that Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. His own town would not receive Him because of its unbelief.
Notice that the Jews gathered in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. We gather at our local church on Sunday. The Jews would sing Psalms, have a message, and then discuss what was said.
On that day Jesus himself was preaching, “but He was interrupted…”
How many times have we heard someone say, “I don’t have to go to church to worship God?” Yet Jesus himself always went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Also, Paul reminds us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…” (Hebrews 10:25).
When Jesus taught, He taught as one with authority. He didn’t merely deal with traditions. Christ taught them His doctrine, and they were astonished.
His wasn’t a cold, indifferent message, but one that moved them. I believe some of our churches need to be moved by the Holy Spirit to proclaim to truth of the Gospel boldly.
There was a man there in the synagogue with a spirit of an unclean devil, and he cried out with a loud voice. What he said shouldn’t be a surprise as the Bible tells us that Satan can come as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Friends, this possessed man was in the synagogue. Why? He was there to gossip, disrupt and cause dissent among the brethren.
Did going somewhere affiliated with “religion” bother him? No. The devil quoted Scripture to Jesus in the desert, though he twisted it.
Scripture tells us, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble”(James 2:19). A head knowledge or mere belief in the existence in God is not enough.
Some in the church today are there only to attack, seeking whom they may devour (1 Peter 5:8). They look for attention so we will take our eyes off Christ. This is probably why he spoke out. Notice that he also affirmed who Jesus is, confirming that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of prophecy.
As Jesus rebuked him, this demon came out. Scripture speaks of the Lord’s authority. The Bible tells us that neither Satan nor any demon out of Hell can stand against Jesus.
Remember God’s Word is infallible. It cannot be changed.
Jesus Christ is and will be the victor. Note that the demons asked, “Is it time for us to be destroyed?”
It is sad that a demon with no hope can acknowledge the truth — yet man, to whom “grace” is extended, often rejects Jesus Christ!
Where do you stand today? We must, by the truth of God’s Word and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, admit we have sinned against God.
Ask for his forgiveness and salvation. Then trust Jesus Christ as your only hope for eternal life, committing your life to him. He came to seek and to save the lost. Now it is up to you.
Lance Stevens pastors at Huntsville Evangelical Community Church in Pendleton. He and his wife, Judy, are formerly of Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfield reporter.com.