The Gospel of Luke | The Spiritual Realm | Luke 4.38-44 |

by | Jan 25, 2021

“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.” Luke 4.38-44

I’ve left the Scriptures above in the three paragraphs designated to them by the editors of the NIV Study Bible I am using. We know that the original Greek included no spaces and no punctuation. I am thankful for scholars who can help us separate moments in time, pauses in sentences and flow in events. The three movements above all have to do with how Jesus is operating in the spiritual realm, a dimension that ironically we often forget.

The first movement is in Simon Peter’s house where his mother in law is sick and suffering. A Jewish mother would have hated to miss an opportunity like this to serve when Jesus showed up. So Jesus does what he often does — he rebuked the high fever. It left her at that moment “and at once she began to wait on them.”

The second movement involves the dozens of people brought to Jesus at sunset (was it after the Sabbath or simply after the work hour?) who had “various kinds of sickness.” The Scripture tells us he laid his hands on each and healed them. In addition, demons started shouting “You are the Son of God,” but Jesus “rebukes them and would not allow them to speak.”

The final movement happens the next morning when Jesus retreats to a “solitary place,” apparently for prayer. People came to find him and they “tried to keep him from leaving.” But Jesus explains his mission of preaching the good news of the “Kingdom of God” and that this is why he was sent.

Each instance puts Jesus directly in the spiritual dimension that we so often neglect. Instead of calling a doctor, he uses prayer and rebuke to rid the fever from Simon’s mother in law. Rather than alerting the “ER”, Jesus lays hands on and heals everyone who is sick and brought to him along with censoring the demons who are trying to spoil the moment. Forgoing his own strength and ability, Jesus retreats to pray to his Father while the crowds come search for him and beg for him to leave.

All these movements involve Jesus living in the spiritual realm. He is praying in the Spirit, healing in the Spirit, rebuking in the Spirit, preaching in the Spirit. Everyone one of Jesus’ actions is spiritual. He relies solely on his own and his Father’s authority to operate.

How seldom to we imitate Jesus’ example? Are we praying, rebuking, healing, preaching? Are we living out our faith in the Spirit? Why not follow Jesus and look for examples to live in the Spirit and in the spiritual realm.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8.11

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to be like you. To live in the Spirit and walk according to your grace. I give you praise for who you are, that I might practice your Presence. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Thank you for your saving grace and for access to your throne. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen