Luke 4:31-37: The Authority of Jesus

A biblical counsellor tells of a couple he was counselling: ‘Cynthia, a woman I counselled, once cast a demon from her toaster when it failed to work! More seriously, she and her husband Andrew had a remarkable—and remarkably destructive—way of arguing with each other. For the first five minutes they warmed up with the normal person-to-person bickering. But at a certain point, when the fighting turned nasty, they shifted gears and wheeled in heavier artillery. They would bind, rebuke, and attempt to cast out demons of anger, pride, and self-righteousness from each other. In Cynthia’s words, ‘I saw the demon looking out of his eyes, glittering and murderous. So I said, ‘Demon of anger, I bind your power in Jesus’ name! Then I claimed the power of Jesus’ blood as my cover from all demonic assault coming through my husband.’1 There are two extremes when it comes to considering the demonic, firstly, this over excited overemphasizing view that sees a demon behind every bush. Then there is the modern view that sees demons as the ignorance of pre-scientific peoples making a devil of the gaps. Bad weather conditions, depression, anger, or anything unexplained was attribute to demons by a pre-scientific people, but science has expelled an need for such a doctrine as it has pulled back the curtain on all the various mysteries giving us a natural explanation for everything.

As we move forward in Luke’s gospel today, we will be looking at Luke 4:21-31. This portion stands out in highlighting the authority of Christ. We see that He teaches with authority, in v31-32, he has authority over demons, v33-37, and He has authority over sickness, v38-41. These will be our three points, but today I would like to dig a bit more deeply into Jesus authority over demons and explore some of the bible’s teaching on this matter. There is a lot of ignorance misunderstanding on this topic today, for example, can Christian be demon possessed? Why do people get possessed? What is the nature of possession? What was the purpose for Jesus casting our demons? These and many other questions need answering and we will address some of these concerns in this message.