Remember, the last time we looked at the Gospel of Luke, we saw Jesus having come out of the wilderness and the temptation by Satan and into Galilee preaching. And we saw an example of His preaching in His home synagogue. You find His hometown folk who have known Him since He was a boy hearing Jesus explain the Scripture, knowing what He had been doing in the surrounding countryside with regard to miracles, and yet not getting who He was. But yet in this passage the most surprising audience gets exactly who He is.

This passage is a passage about authority - God's authority. It's a passage about God's sovereignty. It's a passage about Jesus' power. It's a passage about the kingdom of God, and the issue of the kingdom of God is vitally important for us in at least two ways. The kingdom of God establishes for us who our authority is, and our recognition of that authority is a very important point in our Christian lives. It also sets forth before our eyes our proper aspiration in this world.

What is it that we long for the most? What - if I can quote Jesus from Matthew - what is it that we seek first? Is it ourselves? Is it our pleasures? Is it our agenda, or is it God's kingdom? This is a passage about the kingdom of God, and as such Jesus is challenging us, even as He challenged His original hearers, to recognize His authority and the authority of God in the kingdom, and to embrace God's aspiration of the kingdom as our aspiration in life.

Luke is giving us a picture of the power of the word of God in Jesus in at least three ways in this passage.

I. Jesus Taught With Authority

If you'll look at verses 31-32, Luke wants to draw our attention to the fact that Jesus taught with authority.

If you'll just look back just a few verses to the passage that we studied the last time, you'll see something of this authority captured there. He reads from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and He closes the book and He gives it back to the attendant. And He sits down, and with all eyes fixed on Him, He says, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." This is in total contrast to the rabbis. Typical rabbinic teaching would have been to read the passage and then begin to cite rabbi after rabbi and his opinion about what the passage meant. And here is Jesus declaring the meaning of the word of God and centering that meaning on His person and work and His message. It was strikingly authoritative, and they were astonished at that teaching.

How do you respond to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ? Luke will make it clear in this passage that His teaching is not teaching to be dismissed by anyone. Not by philosophy professors, not by demons, not by anyone. How do you respond to the teaching of God's word? How do you respond to the teaching of Jesus?

II. Jesus Cast Out Demons With Authority [*End Bold*]

Here, having taught the word of God with authority, Jesus encounters a man who is possessed of a demon. And when Jesus encounters the man, before Jesus speaks the demon speaks to Jesus and immediately identifies Him as Jesus of Nazareth, asks Him if He has come to destroy "us" and then identifies who Jesus really is: "You are the Holy One of God." And then with a word, Jesus rebukes the demon and dismisses it from the man. And everyone around gets the point. Look at what is said in verse 36: "They were amazed, and said to one another, 'What is this word? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!'" Luke is showing us the authority and power of Jesus Christ even over the demonic world. He teaches with authority, and He exercises authority even over the demonic world.

III. Jesus Healed With Authority

We read, "He arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house." Luke tells you that Simon's mother-in-law had "a high fever." And then Luke tells us that Jesus stood over her and rebuked the fever. How do you rebuke a fever?! You don't, if you're not the King. You don't, if you're not the Holy One of Israel or invested with His power and authority. And Jesus rebukes the fever and it leaves her.

Now the word is out, and many others with various diseases bring their sick to Him, and He lays hands on them and every one of them is healed. Additionally we're told that demons came out of many. And once again, as the demons come out they acknowledge, "You are the Son of God."

Now isn't it interesting that the demons recognize who He is? Doesn't that speak, my friends, of how spiritually blind we can be to the truth right in front of our eyes? And as only Jesus can exercise dominion over demons, and as only Jesus can rebuke a fever, so also only Jesus can open your eyes to Jesus.

Won't you pray that He would open your eyes to behold Him as He is, so that you can confess that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God?

But there's something else, my friends, that we need to think about in the acknowledgement of demons that He is the Son of God. You see, the sad thing is that they know who He is, but they do not love Him or worship Him. They know exactly who He is, but they do not treasure Him and trust Him. They know exactly who He is, but they do not put their faith in Him and follow Him.

My friends, does the knowledge that you have of Scripture make you love truth? Does the knowledge that you have of Scripture make you hate sin? Does the knowledge of Christ that you have make you trust Him and love Him? Does the knowledge of God's will that you have make you to say with the psalmist, "How I love to do Your law, O Lord"? Knowledge that does not lead to trust and faith and love and service is knowledge that will only puff up, and at last will condemn you. Do not leave the precious truths that are proclaimed to you from God's word rattling around somewhere between your ears. Embrace that truth with all that you are, in the very depths of your heart, and love and trust and believe on and follow the Savior; or James will be saying in your ear as he did in the ear of the unbelieving one who claimed to be a believer in James 2, "Do you believe in God? You do well. So also do the demons, and they tremble." Don't tremble; trust. Don't fear Him with a servile fear; have faith in Him. Believe on Christ as He's offered in the gospel. Acknowledge Him to be your Messiah, the Son of God, your Savior.