April 3, 2022

The Authority of Christ


The Authority of Christ (Luke 4:31-44)   

I. Authority in preaching amazes us (vv. 31-32)

II. Authority in exorcism alarms us (vv. 33-37)

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight” (C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters.)

III. Authority in healing attracts us (vv. 38-44)

        This text is about the authority and power of Jesus. Everyone has their own image of power and authority… perhaps a rule or military leader.

        Remember the story of Samson? Children love the image of the strong Samson, who kills many opponents with one donkey’s jaw. One day, he liked a girl from a different nation, and she was coerced by her leaders to find out where Samson’s’ strength was. She caressed him, and using all sorts of female tricks – like, “you don’t love me if you don’t tell me the truth…” and she did it for a long time, and he gave in… the strength was in his hair (that’s why women don’t cut their hair J). She quickly had him shaved, and they easily grabbed him, gouged out his eyes and made him a slave. His strength was in his hair…

        Where is the power and authority of Christ lay? Ch. 4 talks about power and authority.

        (4:1) – Christ’s authority will be directly related to the Holy Spirit

        (vv. 13-14) – after the temptation, He is in the power of the H.S.!

        Last Sunday, we noticed how powerful and effective Jesus’ preaching was, but the people rejected it!

        As usual, such power and authority will produce wonder (v. 22), and fury (v. 28). But it ends with an interesting incident (vv. 28-30). Help me understand it! People led Jesus to a cliff to throw him off, and at the same time, He passes in between them and leaves! Something weird just happened!

        I think that is the sense of the power and authority that come from Him! He did not do anything; He did not say anything! When the 2 robbers on the crosses next to Jesus were insulting Him, at one point, one of them suddenly stops mocking, and begins to defend Him, and asking to be accepted into His kingdom. He felt the authority and power of Christ!

        Every believing person who really believed in God and trusted God, has experienced this moment of power and authority of Christ!

        Whenever we either read or listen to the Word of God, this is the moment when this process can take place. This is not mysticism. It is the realization of God’s presence and the authority of Christ!

        As Luke continues to talk about this, he continues to point us to the authority of Christ (vv. 32, 36, – authority and power, 39, 40)!

        Today we will reflect on the authority of Christ, and why it’s important. 3 manifestations of the authority of Christ that change every believer.

I. Authority in preaching amazes us (vv. 31-32)

        He was different from the rabbis and scribes who copied from each other (secondhand theology). They were even proud of not being original. But Christ spoke with authority!

        Where did Christ’s authority rested?

        The power and the presence of the Holy Spirit had an inexplicable effect on the people (this cannot be explained by the laws of rhetoric).

        Clarity and conviction! – people understood, and therefore wanted to kill or hold Him.

        Specific application – His words was very practical!

        Based on the Scripture (temptation; in Nazareth – (4:17, 21).

        (v. 32) – marveled at the teaching!

        To be amazed is not an end in itself – amazement must produce brokenness!

        This did not happened in Nazareth (4:22, 28) – amazement and rage.

        But this happened in Capernaum (vv. 32, 42) – they wanted to keep Him.        

        Amazement lead to evangelism (Mark 7:35-37) – the same word – speaks of the parallel; when a person is amazed, he becomes a natural evangelist! We tell others of what excites us! (5:1) – the crowds were after Jesus, because they were told about Him!

        Christ’s teaching amazed everyone, but some, understanding the essence of the teaching, wanted to kill Him in rage, while others wanted to tell others, and keep Him longer. What effect does Jesus’ teaching on sin, on the love of God, eternal life and forgiveness of sin has on you?

II. Authority in exorcism alarms us (vv. 33-37)

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight” (C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters.)

        So it was in the days of Jesus, and so it is in our day. There are people who are overly fascinated by the dark world, unclean spirits, magic, paranormal phenomena… and there are people who deny everything.

        This story speaks of the reality of the spirits of darkness. But this story gives us the confidence and courage not to be afraid if Christ is with us!

        (Acts 19:10-20 – What is more interesting: when they placed handkerchiefs on you and the evil spirit leaves, or when the Gospel is preached and you believe? If we have the Word of God, we have the same power!

        What is the reaction of people? (v. 36) – lit. panic attack

        (5:4-9) – the horror of catching fish (v. 11) – left everything, and followed Christ!

        (5:24-26) – the horror of the miracle performed lead to worship!

        (Acts 3:9-11) – astonishment leads to search for the truth and knowledge of God!

        True amazement leads to zealous following of Christ! The biggest miracle there could be is when a person believes the Gospel!

        You see, real repentance is changing a person from a hate-driven person to a loving person. Repentance is being born again. A new life!

III. Authority in healing attracts us (vv. 38-44)

        A classic scenario… Peter invited guests without telling his wife… and there is a sick mother-in-law…

        A small side note: like Peter after the gathering in church, invited each other for a meal! It builds wonderful memories! After all, everyone remembered this small story… maybe because of the meal J!

        (v. 38-39) – rebuked the fever… the same word used in (v. 35). This is authority! If I now go out to the middle of Watt Ave. and rebuke the upcoming semi-truck – since it is not God’s will, mostly likely it will be my last words… when Christ rebukes something or someone – all obey!

        (v. 40) – laid hands… He could heal with a word (we have seen it already). Why? This is His desire to draw near to people and show tenderness and care!

        When Christ heals the disease, people have another natural reaction (v. 42) to keep Him with them longer, in order to benefit from Him.

        Interestingly, the same word is used by Jesus in the parable of the soils and the Word (8:15) – the man who bears fruit, he first kept the Word in his heart!

        The power of Christ in preaching, in casting out demons and in healing points to the main element of the Gospel – the power of Christ in delivering sinners from the Satan’s rule, disease, and possession of sin (2 Cor. 4:3-6).

        Communion is an opportunity to celebrate the authority of Christ in forgiveness of sins.

        (Matt. 26:26-29) – two elements that point to Christ’s authority: the authority to forgive sins (on the basis of submission (v. 28)), and the authority of the Father’s coming kingdom!

        Believers have believed in Jesus Christ that he has the power to forgive and He is the Lord (Rom. 10:9-13).

        The second – the Supper is a special awareness of God’s presence and contact with the reality of Christ’s sacrifice. As in the case of Christ in Capernaum, evil spirits were immediately revealed, so when we approach God, all evil and sin is exposed and uncovered in us. And at this moment, we are not engaged in self-flagellation, but in contrition we recognize the power of Christ to forgive our sins!

        Perhaps you, as a guest, listening to the Word of God today, have seen your sins under the light of the Gospel. Christ can heal even the most cruel and callous heart.

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