A Study Of Luke 4:30-44

In the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 4 the Lord Jesus preached in the synagogue at Nazareth, and then the Nazarenes wanted to kill Him by casting Him down a cliff. And then we read those ominous words in verse 30:

Luke 4:30
But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

The Lord Jesus left them alone in their sins. He went His way and they could not see Him any more. That is what happens when people do not want Jesus in their life. There comes a time that Jesus turns away from them, and they cannot see Him any more. They have digged their own grave in Hell. The Lord Jesus left Nazareth and He moved on. Then we see Him:

In Capernaum (Luke 4:30-44).

Luke 4:31
And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.

Luke 4:32
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

Luke 4:33
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

Luke 4:34
Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

Luke 4:35
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

Luke 4:36
And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Luke 4:37
And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

Luke 4:38
And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.

Luke 4:39
And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

Luke 4:40
Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

Luke 4:41
And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

Luke 4:42
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.

Luke 4:43
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

Luke 4:44
And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

The Lord Jesus did many miracles. But the first thing we want to see in all these miracles is:

The Gospel in the Miracles (Luke 4:18, John 20:30-31)

Jesus did not do all these miracles to show how mighty and how powerful He was. That was not what He came for. His primary reason for coming to this earth was to die on a cross. The second reason why He came was to preach the Gospel.

Did He not say that in this chapter?

Look at verse 18.

Is it not true that Jesus said here that He came to preach the Gospel?

Jesus said in Luke 4:18,

Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

The Lord Jesus says here plainly that He preached the Gospel by miraculously healing the blind, and He preached the Gospel by miraculously setting the captives free. Nowhere in the Gospels do we read that Jesus literally freed a prisoner of Pontius Pilate, or a prisoner of king Herod. Therefore, verse 18 must be interpreted spiritually, and not literally. Jesus acted out pictures of salvation. The blind that received their sight were a representation of those who became saved. Initially we were born spiritually blind, not able to help ourselves. The Lord Jesus gave us our spiritual eyesight as a free gift. That is a picture of the Gospel. Initially we were born as captives of the kingdom of Satan, and not able to set ourselves free. The Lord Jesus set us free by casting the demons out of us, and He did it for us as a free gift. That is a picture of the Gospel. This was an integral part of how Jesus ministered to His people. The miracles Jesus did were pictures of salvation.

God says again in John 20:30-31 that Jesus did many signs for the purpose of getting people saved.

John 20:30
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

John 20:31
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Many theologians have believed that: “these verses are stating the purpose of the Gospel according to John, and that these signs and miracles were written that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that in believing He will give you eternal life through believing in His name”.

This is simply not true, because no one can become saved through believing signs and miracles. Instead, these two verses in John 20 state that these particular signs and miracles were written, so that you might see the Gospel through these signs and miracles, and seeing the Gospel you might believe in Christ as the promised Messiah and be saved. Now, let us look at the preaching of Jesus:

The Gospel in the Word (John 4:46-54)

In John chapter 4, beginning at verse 46 the Lord Jesus is at Cana, in Galilee, and here Jesus meets a certain nobleman from Capernaum whose son is sick with a fever, and this is the same Greek word for fever that Peter’s mother in law had, when Jesus healed her of that fever.

John 4:46
So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

John 4:47
When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.

John 4:48
Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

John 4:49
The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.

John 4:50
Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.

John 4:51
And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.

John 4:52
Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.

John 4:53
So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

John 4:54
This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Look again at verse 48. “Then said Jesus unto him: Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe”.

Is Jesus saying here that people will only believe if they see signs and wonders?

No! Jesus is not stating this as a matter of fact. Jesus is blaming the Jews for always looking for signs and miracles, instead of believing what they read and hear. Jesus said in Matthew 12: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign”.

We should not be looking for signs and wonders.

But this nobleman was nobler than the rest of them, because this sign did not make him believe. Read verse 50 again. This says: “The man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way”. He believed the Word, not the miracle. He believed before he went home and heard that a great miracle was done. The fever was cast out of his son. And this word for fever is the same Greek word that Peter’s mother in law had when Jesus healed her of that fever. Now let us look at:

The Fever Rebuked (Deuteronomy 28:22, Luke 4:38-39, 1 Timothy 4:1-3)

Before we return to the Gospel according to Luke, I want to dwell a little on that word “fever”.

What is that “fever”?

From John 4:47 we understand that this son of the nobleman was at the point of death. This was no ordinary fever. The Greek word indicates that this fever is “a burning heat”

In Deuteronomy 28, where God gives us pictures of the sufferings of Hell, God uses the word “fever”, a burning heat, to describe one of the sufferings of Hell. God says in Deuteronomy 28:22,

Deuteronomy 28:22
The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

When God in the New Testament strikes people with fever that is a burning heat, leading to the point of death,

God is giving us pictures of people who are in the condition of being under the wrath of God. To be in Hell is equivalent to being under the wrath of God.

Now, let us turn back to the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 4. The Lord Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law from a great fever. Here you see that Luke was a physician. Matthew and Mark wrote that she had a fever, but Dr Luke wrote that she had a great fever. We read in Luke 4:38,

Luke 4:38
And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.

Luke 4:39
And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

Was this a great miracle, like casting out demons?

Absolutely. She was at the point of death with this burning heat. This too was a picture of salvation. Before we are saved we are in a condition called Hell. We are afflicted with a fever, a burning heat leading unto death, and we cannot help ourselves. The Lord Jesus has to cast out this fever.

We read in verse 39: “Jesus rebuked the fever”, as if the fever was a person, as if the fever was a demon that had to be cast out of her.

And what was the result?

“Immediately she arose and ministered unto them”.

When we become saved we immediately begin to serve the Lord Jesus.

What else do we learn from these two verses?

Did you see that Peter had a wife?

Why are there churches today that say clergy should not marry?

God explains this in I Timothy 4:1-3, where God says:

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Timothy 4:2
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Timothy 4:3
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

God says very plainly: These commands “that clergy should not marry” are doctrines of devils.

It is interesting that this story of Jesus rebuking the fever is wedged in between two stories dealing with casting out demons. To have a demon is also equivalent to being under the wrath of God.

A Demon in the Synagogue (Luke 4:31-34, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

Jesus left Nazareth, and went to Capernaum, which is at the other end of Galilee. There in Capernaum He taught the people regularly in their synagogue on the Sabbath days. We read in:

Luke 4:31
And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.

Luke 4:32
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

Luke 4:33
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

Luke 4:34
Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

The synagogue is the Old Testament equivalent of the Church building in the New Testament time. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by an unclean demon.

What is this man doing in Church?

This demon has no business being there. But God arranged this to teach us that not everyone in Church is a saved individual. This is important to know, especially for our teenagers. When boys and girls shop around for a marriage partner in their life, they want to be obedient to God’s command “to be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”. Do not be satisfied when a boy or a girl says: “I am a Christian; I go to Church regularly; I believe in Jesus”.

This is a smokescreen.

Here in Luke 4:33, in the synagogue, was a man with an unclean spirit “Holding the truth in unrighteousness”. He pretended to be worshipping God, but in reality he was worshipping Satan.

What does it mean that a person has an unclean spirit?

The Bible teaches that there are only two spiritual kingdoms here on this earth. There is a battle going on between the Kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan. People who are saved are in the Kingdom of Christ, but every unsaved person is in the kingdom of Satan. Every unsaved person is in the same predicament as someone who has an unclean spirit living in him. Every unsaved person is in the clutches of Satan and his demons, and unable to loose himself from this iron grip of Satan.

But Satan and his demons are no match for Christ. They know that in the end they will all be cast into Hell. Listen to what this demon says to Jesus in verse 34: “Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.”

This demon knows who Jesus is.

Do the unsaved know who Jesus is?

No, they do not know who Jesus is. They are blinded by Satan. God says in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4,

2 Corinthians 4:3
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

But this demon in the synagogue spoke the truth. He said: “I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.”

Does Jesus need any help from demons in identifying Jesus as the Messiah?

No!

Jesus Rebuked Him (Luke 4:35-37)

We read in Luke 4:35-37,

Luke 4:35
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Hold thy peace, and come out of him”. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

Luke 4:36
And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, “What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out”.

Luke 4:37
And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

What gave Jesus the authority to cast out this demon?

God created this man, and God permitted this demon to take up residence in him, and God permitted this man to appear in the synagogue.

What right does Jesus have to act apparently contrary to God’s action of creating this man?

And how did Jesus cast out this demon?

Did He just wave His hand and spoke?

To answer these questions, we first have to know why this demon could take up residence in this man. This man was created in the image of God.

How could it be that he became a slave of this demon?

The Lord Jesus explained this in another chapter very clearly. He said: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (slave) of sin”. Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against God mankind has been coming into the world as sinners, and we have been slaves to sin and rebels against God since the day we were born. The Bible teaches that we are unable to free ourselves from this bondage to sin and Satan.

But God was not willing to let the whole human race go to Hell. God decided to save a people by the grace of God.

What does that mean: By the grace of God?

Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is God’s favor unto salvation bestowed on people who do not deserve it. In other words, there is nothing that we have done, or that we can do, to merit God’s favor. If we could do something to merit God’s favor, then grace is no longer grace. We cannot take the action to accept the Lord Jesus as our Lord and Savior, because then grace is no longer grace. Therefore, since some people get saved and others remain unsaved, and since we have done nothing to merit God’s favor, God must choose on whom He wants to bestow this grace unto salvation. This is exactly what the Bible says in Ephesians 1, where God says: “He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world”.

What does this mean: “He has chosen us in Christ”?

It means that God chose a number of people from the human race, US, and God declared that Christ would be our federal head instead of Adam. In order to accomplish that, the Lord Jesus Christ had to come to this sin cursed earth, and take our place on the cross as our representative to suffer the wrath of God for all our sins, in our place as our federal head. Christ had to suffer the complete penalty for our sins. He had to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. But since Christ is God He could do that. And when He finished paying for our sins He cried out victoriously: “It is finished”.

Having purchased us by paying for our sins, Christ has the right to save all those whose sins have been paid. The Lord Jesus, our Christ, knew whose sins He was going to pay on the cross, and thus before He went to the cross He had the right to cast demons out of those whom He came to save. That is why Jesus had the right to cast the demon out of this man in the synagogue at Capernaum.

And listen to the reaction of those who witnessed this miracle. They said:

What Word Is This? (Luke 4:32, Luke 4:36, John 1:1)

They did not say: “What a man is this?” They said: “What Word is this?” First they were astonished at His preaching. God recorded for us Luke 4:32, where we read:

Luke 4:32
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power (authority).

The Lord Jesus preached the Gospel with authority. They recognized that Jesus spoke with authority and that He knew the Word of God. In fact, He wrote the Word of God, and He came to be the Word of God. No one knew it better than He did.

The Lord Jesus did not preach like Pharisees did. His presentation of the Gospel was coherent and harmonious. All the words in the Bible were in complete harmony when He preached.

Then when Jesus cast out the demon we read in verse 36,

Luke 4:36
And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What (a) word is this! For with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Is it not amazing that the people in the synagogue said: “What word is this”?

The Greek word here is “Logos”. It is the same Greek word that is used for the name of Jesus in John 1:1,

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. Christ is the Logos of God, and it is only through Christ that salvation can come to anyone. Christ is the Good News of salvation. The miracle of the casting out of a demon was a picture of salvation.

We have seen that a demon was in the synagogue, and now there are many more:

Demons in the Favorite City (Luke 4:40-41, Matthew 11:23-24)

The Lord Jesus was still in Capernaum. We read in verses 40-41,

Luke 4:40
Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

Luke 4:41
And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

There were many demons in the city of Capernaum.

What was so special about Capernaum?

This was the city where Jesus chose to dwell frequently. Capernaum was Jesus’ favorite city in Galilee.

Was Capernaum His favorite city because there were so many believers there?

No, not at all! In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 11:23,

Matthew 11:23
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Matthew 11:24
But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Jesus said here that Capernaum was exalted unto heaven because Jesus was there. Jesus did many mighty miracles there. And yet the majority of Capernaum remained unsaved.

Consider the election of God: God arranged to have Jesus preach in Capernaum, to those who would not believe. But to those who would have believed He brought not Jesus.

There were many demons in Capernaum, because there were many unsaved in Capernaum. You find unsaved people everywhere, including the Church. God says that we must preach the Gospel to the unsaved everywhere, including the Church. Don’t assume that people are in Church because they are saved.

No! People are in Church because God wants them there, to hear the Gospel.

When did the people in Capernaum hear the Gospel?

They heard it on many Sabbath days in their synagogue. They heard and saw the Gospel when Jesus cast out the unclean spirit from the man in the synagogue. They heard and saw the Gospel when Jesus cast out many demons:

When the Sun Was Setting (Luke 4:41, 2 Corinthians 6:2)

We read in verse 40 that the sun was setting, and in verse 41 we read:

Luke 4:41
And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

All these were historical pictures of salvation. Jesus healed everyone that was brought to Him.

When were they brought to Him?

They were brought to Him just in time, while it was still day.

When were WE brought to Jesus?

We were brought to Him just in time. We cannot afford to wait until we get old. Before we get old we might get seriously sick, and then we get so busy with our illness that we have no time to hear the Gospel. God says in 2 Corinthians 6:2,

2 Corinthians 6:2
Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Young people, you do not have much time. In every person’s life there is a time when the sun is setting. For you and for me it could be tomorrow. We must listen to the Gospel call. We cannot put it off. There will come a time when the Gospel will be scarce or is no longer available.

What if you die tomorrow?

What would you do today, if you knew that you would die tomorrow?

“Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”.

How can you tell if you have been saved?

Look at all the signs in your life.

Do you believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone?

Do you have an ongoing desire to live for the Lord Jesus?

Do you have a desire to follow Him?

When It Was Day (Luke 4:42-44, Luke 11:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

Jesus left Capernaum. At the height of Jesus’ career, after He cleaned up sickness from the town of Capernaum, after He has become the most sought after person in Capernaum, He left His favorite town and went into a deserted place.

Why did He do that?

We read in verse 42,

Luke 4:42
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.

Luke 4:43
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

Luke 4:44
And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

If Jesus must preach the Gospel in other cities also, why did He go to a desert place?

Perhaps Jesus was demonstrating that other cities are spiritually like a desert place.

Paraphrased the Lord Jesus says to us: “The Gospel is not for you only, but also for others in the world. I must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to other cities also.

Are you coming with me?

I have work for you to do. The Gospel must go throughout the entire world. There are many unsaved everywhere in the world. You find them in the city, you find them in Church, you find them in the family, and you find them among your friends. You are surrounded by the walking dead. They need to be under the hearing of the Gospel. They cannot hear now, but God can make them hear. God can use your witness to make people spiritually alive, because “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.

The Lord Jesus said in Luke 11:23,

Luke 11:23
He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

The exact same words are recorded in Matthew 12:30. When God says something twice, it must be very important.

What is Jesus saying here?

He is saying something very practical. There are only two groups of people in the world: those who are with me, and those who are not with me. But those who are not with me are against me. They who are with me are gathering with me. They who are not gathering with me are those who are against me, and they scatter. Not only will they be scattered, but they cause others to be scattered also. That is why they are against me.

If we truly are children of God we will be gathering with Jesus. Then is fulfilled what God said in 2 Corinthians chapter 5:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

He has given us the ministry of reconciliation, causing people to be reconciled to God. It is a great honor to be used by God in such function. It is a great privilege to be enrolled in the army of Christ. But this is not optional. Luke 11:23 says it plainly that we must be gathering with Christ.

Let us pray that we will do that faithfully

By Alfred J. Chompff

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