The Aim of this devotional study today is to reflect on the deliverance ministry of Jesus, and learn from his discernment and authority.
Luke 4:16-21, 33-41
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
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.
Note: the reference to “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” refers to the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25)– every 50 year the Lord commanded that all Israelites rest that year, and that all Jewish slaves be set free, and all property return to the families and clans to whom it belonged originally, thus everyone bound in debt was restored.
At the beginning of his ministry Jesus was given this portion to read from Isaiah’s scroll his home town Nazareth. Then he sat down and everyone listened as he should teach. But all Luke recorded Jesus said was “This text is fulfilled in [me].”
- List the ministry of Jesus according to Isaiah’s prophesy quoted above. (v16-21)
- Regarding the quotation from Isaiah: note the two references to “liberty” those who are oppressed, plus the reference to the year if Jubilee. What does that suggest of the importance of deliverance I Jesus’ ministry?
- Reading the rest of the chapter we note a few other instance where Jesus commanded sickness and evil spirits to let people go – a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy of Jesus’ ministry. List the instances of deliverance recorded above. What do you learn from that?
- How did Jesus exercise his authority over demons?
- As “modern, educated” people we tend to rationalize everything. If you were with Jesus when he performed these miracles of healing and deliverance – do you think you would have “rebuke(d) the fever” out of Simon’s mom or even recognized the man in the synagogue was demon-possessed, or that the demons were speaking through people who were set free?
- If Jesus were to walk with you in the course of your every-day life, where would he set people free from demonic oppression, temptation or possession? Or perhaps even you?
Jesus once said he only did “what he saw the Father was doing.” Pray to the Lord for this gift of discernment – to see what He is doing or wants to do in your life, and where he wants to set you or those around you free from oppression.