Summary: Fourth in series on the Miracles of Jesus. The healing of a Demon Possessed Man.
Miracle # 4
“Jesus Heals A Demon Possessed Man”
According to the Gospels, Jesus had the power to cure not only physical disease but spiritual affliction as well.
The first person with a spiritual affliction that had an encounter with Jesus and is recorded by scripture was in the town of Capernaum in the district of Galilee. Jesus had just come from the Sea of Galilee where he had recruited the first four of his twelve disciples – Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. They arrived in Capernaum on the Sabbath, and Jesus decided to go to the local synagogue (as was his usual custom), where he immediately began to teach.
The Background of the Miracle (vv. 21-22)
“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. (22) And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
These verses tell us that the people were astonished or amazed at his teaching. The Greek word (ekplesso) literally means “to strike with panic or shock.” The teaching of Jesus packed a powerful punch. The unprepared listeners were so amazed by his teaching that they were unable to grasp the meaning of what was happening.
Jesus taught with Authority
The Old Testament prophets spoke for God. The said, “Thus says the Lord.” The Old Testament prophets were messengers of God speaking only what they had been given.
The Scribes of Jesus day preached about God. They stood on the authority of what previous great men had spoken about the meaning of scripture, it was second hand theology. But when Jesus spoke it was just the opposite.
Jesus spoke as God. Jesus spoke with authority because he spoke as the author of scripture. That why the people were amazed.
Jesus’ preaching was clear. Jesus took the deep truth of God’s word and made it easy to understand. Have you ever heard some intellectual speak and when he was through you did not know what he had said. Some times we think if it don’t understand what someone has said they must be brilliant. But that is not necessarily so. There is a saying here in the South, “Just because you can’t see the bottom of the river doesn’t mean its deep – it may just be muddy.”
“Once Harry Ironside was greeting by a visitor who said he had enjoyed the service, although he did not think Ironside was a great preacher. Ironside replied, ‘I know I am not a great preacher. But what is it about my preaching that brought you to that conclusion?’ The man answered, ‘I understood everything you said.’ This was an unwitting confession of one of the reasons for Ironside’s greatness.” [R. Kent Hughes Luke: That You May Know the Truth. Vol 1 (Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway Books, 1998) p. 149]
Jesus preaching was not only clear it was convicting. An alarming thought is that the demon had been in the synagogue before and had never been disturbed by what he had heard or witnessed.
It was in the context of Jesus’ authoritative exposition of the Word of God that a striking miracle occurred.