“Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! 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. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.” Luke 4.31-37
Like you, I’ve read or written about this miracle several times. Yet I never ceased to be amazed with the authority by which Jesus speaks, the recognition from the demon of who Jesus is and how the news that spread quickly about Jesus.
They did not have the internet in those days, thank goodness! They had word of mouth, which if you don’t know what that is, ask your parents! They had the means to spread the good news of Jesus by eye witness accounts. Those who saw told friends and family members who in turn told friends and family members and so on.
But it was the authority by which Jesus spoke which “amazed” the people. They were amazed at his teaching because he spoke unlike the other teachers — with authority. Authority. What does it mean? Power? Wisdom? Confidence? When I am in a meeting with our Wesley House of Studies professor Dr. Billy Abraham at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, and he speaks, he does so with authority on almost every topic that arises. He doesn’t just give an opinion, a thought, a “good word.” He an an expert on the topics of theology, faith and the Bible. He speaks with authority.
Now take that and multiply it by 100. Jesus, the God in the flesh, who created all things, spoke as if he owned the place. Because he did. And just to support his point, he silences the demon who is calling him out prematurely. He’s called the “Holy One of God,” which is accurate but which Jesus isn’t ready to reveal. And besides, why let evil speak? Jesus says to the man “in the synagogue” (a sermon for another time) who is possessed “Come out of him!” And at once it happened and the people were amazed.
Are we still amazed at the authority of Jesus? Do we walk out of the door of our houses daily “amazed” at the gift of life, the gift of love, the gift of grace? Why not be amazed this day. Amazed that the God who came down from heaven did so to rescue us with his authority so we might have life today and eternal life to come.
“O Lord God, you are good. I praise you. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to walk in your ways. I love you Lord and trust you. You have authority over all things! Take my life, fill me, guide me, lead me. Allow me to be yours and you to be mind. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen