Sunday, February 14
Luke 4:31-5:11—Jesus heals many & calls the first disciples
31 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 evil 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 evil spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
38 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.
5:1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Points of Interest:
- (v.32) “because his words had authority”—the main difference between Jesus’ words and the words of other teachers is that his words are powerful. They don’t just add knowledge, they cause action: people are rescued from the clutches of evil spiritual beings or healed of diseases when he speaks.
- (v.34) “I know who you are”—demons are evil spiritual beings associated with the devil and constantly on the lookout to do people harm. Perhaps this demon knows who Jesus is because he’s heard about Jesus’ showdown with the devil. Or maybe he can just tell somehow by looking at him. In any case, sadly, this demon recognizes him but the people of Nazareth could not.
- (v.42) “Jesus went out to a solitary place”—maybe he snuck out early just to beat traffic, but it sounds to me like he went to find a quiet place to pray. It’s quite possible that, just as he started his ministry being led by the Spirit into the wilderness, he started his day by being led by the Spirit to a quiet place, to receive instructions from God for the day.
- (v.2) “taught the people from the boat”—to avoid being mobbed, and to use the water to help him project his voice.
- (v.8) “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”—Simon realizes that he’s in the presence of someone very special, and it’s a little hard for him to grasp. Maybe he’s afraid that, being so near someone so holy, he will be burned like chaff, to borrow a phrase from John.
- (v.10) “from now on you will fish for people”—Simon is not going to be destroyed or punished. He’s going to be transformed. Because of his humble response, Simon is raised up and given a new mission – he is called to the people business!
Taking it home:
- For you: Jesus wants to show you that he cares about you. What do you need from Jesus today? Do you need something encouraging to happen at work? Do you need a sick relative to start feeling better? Do you just need him to assure you that he’s not angry at you? Ask Jesus for that thing you need.
- For your Six: We’re not really used to thinking about demons, and most of our images of demonic possession come from horror movies. It’s kind of hard to take something like that seriously, or to imagine that such a creature might actually be affecting your Six. But look at it this way: do any of your Six seem to be consistently trapped by negative thoughts or compulsions? Maybe these are even things that don’t seem to fit with the rest of what you know of the person’s character. Ask Jesus to free your friend from anything evil that may be attacking them.
- For our church/ILTJ: Jesus loves to heal people, not just spiritually but physically. Pray that those in our church with cancer or other life threatening diseases to be miraculously healed. Pray that those who come up for prayer after service or to our healing class would leave feeling better.