After Jesus left Nazareth in Luke 4, he went down to Capernaum. Here Luke mentions that Capernaum was in Galilee, which of course was for the benefit of Theophilus (and any Gentile reader), where He was teaching people on the Sabbath. Luke said that they were “astonished” at His teaching because His word “possessed authority.” This was an appropriate assessment, as it was a case of the word of God being taught by the Lord. It is with that same authority that He commands an unclean spirit to come out of a man in the synagogue, and the people marvel at that as well. And verse 37 says that “reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.”
In verse 38, Jesus goes to the home of Peter, whose mother-in-law is very ill with a high fever. Here, he shows His authority over even sickness, as the scripture says He “stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.” It is here that we learn that the “reports” about Him that are mentioned in verse 37 have caused a great many people to bring their sick and diseased relatives to Jesus to be healed; and He heals them all (verse 40). We are also told that demons came out of many, and that they knew He was the Son of God. But Jesus rebuked them. He was not ready for this fact to become known far and wide.
The verses here in Luke and in other parts of the Gospels concerning demons can be difficult for us to understand because such things are so foreign to our experience. But there is much we do not know about where spirits and demons are concerned. For whatever reason, God allowed these spirits to dwell in and among many people just prior to and after Jesus’s time here on earth. We have some opinions about that, which we wrote about here in this article. Hopefully, that may be helpful to you in understanding better, but remember, it is just an opinion – hopefully, an informed opinion, but an opinion, just the same.
Verse 42, says that when it was day, He departed and went to a “desolate place.” This implies that He must have spent all night – from sunset on (see verse 40) healing people. This verse indicates that He was tired and needed time alone. The people did not want Him to go, and went looking for Him. Verse 43 gives His response: “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And in verse 44, He begins preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.
For two good articles with pictures of Capernaum, please see this article with an aerial photo and this article with a picture of a partially reconstructed synagogue from Ferrell’s Travel Blog.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.