Luke 4:31-44 – Rebuked

Luke 4:31-44—And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. 40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

This world is broken.

Last week, we began to see how broken this world is.  Jesus proclaimed the Gospel in the synagogue of His hometown and was rejected.  Maybe, it’s not so surprising that He was rejected.  He openly claimed that He was the Lord’s Anointed, and the people of Nazareth weren’t morons.  They were able to do math; they knew Jesus’ birthday was a couple of months before His parents’ anniversary.  They knew Joseph’s Son.

Even though Jesus, the Word made flesh, proclaimed the Gospel, the broken people of Nazareth rejected Him.  They brought Jesus up a hill to the edge of the cliff, prepared to throw Him down and stone Him.  But He walked through the crowds.  He made His way down the hill, and down to the city by the sea – Capernaum.

Capernaum welcomed Jesus, but it was broken too.  Even while the crowds of Capernaum are marveling at the authority and the power of Jesus, they are still suffering the brokenness of this world.

Peter’s mother-in-law lies ill with a high fever.  Hordes of people were broken with illnesses and diseases.  Many individuals are possessed by unclean demons.

Jesus works to fix the brokenness, and when He tires and tries to find a deserted place to pray, the people search for Him and try to make Him stay.  They want Jesus to fix their all their brokenness.

Nazareth and Capernaum were broken.  And our world is still broken.

Now, I’m not just talking about the pain of having to upgrade from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5.  I’m not just talking about the difficulty of having too many chips for your dip.

I am not talking about the brokenness caused by a young man who is able to walk into an elementary school and shoot and kill young children who are completely unprotected.

I’m not even talking about the brokenness of our politics and society.

Do you know where the real brokenness is?  It is in you; it is in me.  We don’t have to look any farther than that.

Because of the sin within us we are just as broken as the people who had various diseases in Capernaum.  Because of the sin within us we are just as broken as the demonically possessed.  Because of the sin that surrounds us, we are broken.  Because of the thoughts of our own minds and emotions, we are no less sinful than any mass murderer of children.

It is shocking to think that a man possessed by a demon could walk into a synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath day to be in the presence of Jesus Who is preaching with authority.  Or is it?  What bitterness and resentment is festering in you?  What evil have you brought here?  What sin have you carried into God’s house?

When you stop and think about it, how dare you be here?  If you pause for a moment and truly examine your life, the brokenness isn’t just devastating, it’s terrifying.

It looked bad in that synagogue in Capernaum.  The occult belief is that, if you know the name of your opponent, you have power over him.  And the demon recognized Jesus exactly for Who He is – the Holy One of God.

So the people in that synagogue were impressed when Jesus is able rebuke the demon.  The people in Simon Peter’s house are amazed when Jesus is able to rebuke the high fever.  The throngs of people are impressed when Jesus is able to rebuke the demons and cast out the diseases.

Yes, the demon had it right – interestingly, only the demon recognizes Jesus for Who He is and what He has come to do.  Jesus did come to destroy the dominion of Satan and demons and sin and death.  That is the work He does.  Jesus has the authority to rebuke the brokenness of this world caused by evil and sin and Satan.

It is no problem for Jesus to rebuke the brokenness of your life.  He is the one with all the authority.

Jesus doesn’t just fix what is broken and give it a year-long warranty that if it breaks again you can bring it back to Him.  No.  He takes your broken body, He takes your broken life, He takes your broken, sinful heart and buries it all in His tomb.  And He leaves it there.

He takes your brokenness and rebukes it.  And He gives you His body which was broken for you.  He gives you His blood which was shed for you.  Jesus gives you this meal of His body and blood – the feast of victory.  Alleluia.  Amen.

May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.