Luke 4:31-37 (NLT)
Jesus Casts Out a Demon
31 Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. 32 There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority. 33 Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus, 34 “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. 36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” 37 The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region. 38 After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. “Please heal her,” everyone begged. 39 Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them. 40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41 Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.”
The healing of the man with a demon will be the first of 21 miracles recorded in Luke.
The people were astonished at Jesus ‘teaching’ because his word possessed authority. In contrast to their rabbis, who merely cited the opinions of other rabbis, Jesus’ teachings had inherent authority, the authority of God himself.
They were all amazed because Jesus was able to cast out demons with a word. Jesus ‘triumph over demons was a clear indication that God’s kingdom was breaking into the present age in a new and decisive way, driving back demonic forces and setting people free to serve God.
Luke clearly distinguishes between the casting out of demons and healing, showing that not all diseases are due to demonic power, though some diseases do have a demonic origin.
“Have you come to destroy us?” v34. Though there was only one demon present, the plural us suggests that all of Satan’s forces were aware and fearful of Jesus’ coming.
“What authority and power this man’s words possess!” v36. Magicians and exorcists often used elaborate rituals and incantations as signs of authority. The people were amazed that Jesus merely spoke a word on his own authority and cast out the demon.
“Rebuked”, v36. This term in Aramaic was a technical term for calling evil into submission. Jesus’ authority over evil forces is clear. He possessed the authority and power to grant salvation, as well as to confront all opponents to it.
People looked to Christ’s supremacy for help and hope from the things that ailed them. What are you looking to Christ for? What ails you that only Christ could touch and heal?
Luke 6:17-19 (NLT)
Crowds Follow Jesus
17 When they came down from the mountain, the disciples stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those troubled by evil spirits were healed. 19 Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.
This discourse is not identical with the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5–7). That was delivered on a mountain; this was delivered on a level place. That had blessings but no woes; this has both. There are other differences—in words, in length, in emphasis.
The crowd did not gather just to hear Jesus preach. Many came to be healed of physical diseases or spiritual oppression by unclean spirits (demons). Since ‘power’ (Gk: dunamis) v19, was coming out from Him, all who touched Jesus were healed. Note: This same Greek verb is the same used when describing the effect and result of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit falling upon the New Testament church in Acts 1:8.
People followed Jesus for what He could do for them. He healed them and delivered them. Today we follow Jesus for the same reason with the added bonus of ‘He saves us’. Never forget His purpose in coming: to not only save you, but to bring healing and deliverance to you.