Summary: We are going to see two purposes in Christ's triumph over evil
A. Opening illustration: Super Bowl LIII, elephants are the biggest babies born on earth except for Patriots haters
B. Background to passage: It is a common misconception of most religions that there is a great battle of good and evil going on through the ages with Satan/evil (or whatever form he/it may take in various religions) fighting against God/good with all its undulations throughout the centuries. During this battle the virtuous men and women are soldiers in this epic struggle for both sides hoping that their team wins. The bible does not teach this worldview, and this text demonstrates how evil works in God’s economy. Luke spends the remainder of chapter four with Jesus’s visit to Capernaum where Jesus casts out demons and heals the sick. Here Jesus acts for his missional purposes of authority and preaching.
C. Main thought: We are going to see two purposes in Christ’s triumph over evil.
1) To Demonstrate His Authority (v. 36, 40-41)
a. We are not going to take time to give a long study on demons. However, understand that the bible teaches that they are real, knowledgeable, evil, cunning, crafty, dangerous, and actively at work in our world to kill, steal, and destroy. C. S. Lewis said that we can make two errors in relation, we can deny that they exist/or completely ignore with unconcern or we can become overly fixated, either is acceptable to them for our abdication of our kingdom mission. This passage (and the bible as a whole) demonstrates God’s absolute authority over them. They exist and operate only by the permission of Almighty God. This is why they said, “we know who you are…” Their knowledge is followed by rejection not submission. This raises a lot of “why” questions, one of which I will address in a minute. However, here, his authority is the issue before the crowd. It was also a personal issue because they were all affected by these conditions. His command of demonic activity and the bodily harm of disease testified to his divinity, and if to his divinity, to the glory of God. They were amazed.
c. Illustration: read the quote below! What if Jesus looked at Hurricane Michael and just said, “Cease and desist?” Or after the fact, put the trees back up and remove the waters and fix the houses? We just don’t have a category for absolute power.
d. We often find ourselves in the position of the citizens of Capernaum. We give lip service to the omnipotence to God over all, and yet grant him no authority in our lives, nor expect to him to do anything miraculous with us. We have a long history of knowing the miracles of Jesus, especially those that relate to healing. Do we truly believe in the absolute sovereignty of God? Do we rest in that fact? Do we gladly submit to his will in all circumstances, or just the ones that are easy for us? Do we really believe that we rise in the morning with our hearts still beating because of him, that each atom holds its because of Him, the tides come and go by him, the animals give birth by him, that not a bird in some unknown forest doesn’t fall apart from your Father’s will?
e. Or we become selfishly focused on the healing aspect, become fixated on it, and lose sight of the Healer. In such a case, if God does not heal in the time or fashion that we want, we become angry, embittered, or feel jolted by the Almighty. James says that our prayers sometimes do not get answered because of our improper motivations – we seek blessing simply to consume it for ourselves alone. What happens to our faith and feelings if God doesn’t answer our prayers in the affirmative? Are we comfortable praying not my will but thine be done?
2) To Further the Purpose for Which He was Sent (v. 43)
a. On a number of occasions Jesus declared the explicit purpose for his coming, one of which was in the previous passage. His purpose was to preach the good news of salvation. The miracles he performed gained him an audience. The messiah was prophesied to do miracles, and in Israel when oppressing governments controlled, deliverance was always looked for. So, when a miracle-worker was found, the anticipation rose. This is the main reason that his fame grew, and word spread far past the areas in which he had ministered. When he arrived in town the gate swung wide for his arrival, and thus his opportunity to preach the gospel. Salvation is the most God-glorifying act of all time, and for Jesus to proclaim it and accomplish it was to fulfill the purpose for which he sent. Therefore, demons and sickness were simply opportunities to fulfill the calling and plan for him.