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The Kingdom Authority & Power of Jesus ~ Luke 4:31-44 May 19, 2012 ~ New City Church Calgary

~ Pastor John Ferguson Intro: A fun game that I would sometimes play is the Genie in a Bottle Wish game. Health, wealth, and three more wishes. Adults have a version of this game: its called Win the Lottery! The outcome almost always has reference to ourselves. Many people approach religion and spirituality this way: How can I get God to do what I want him to? Whats the combination to get God to be my Genie-in-a-Bottle? How can I get him to help me build & bless my own little kingdom. But heres the problem: Gods kingdom, his agenda, his mission comes into conflict with ours. Eugene Peterson, The kingdom of self is heavily defended territory. This is actually its own form of spiritual enslavement.

Today in our text, we will be introduced to the idea of the Kingdom of God from the lips of Jesus. Well see it in action, and then well see its importance upon the lips of Jesus as he describes his mission & purpose. Key Point: Life isnt about my kingdom, but Gods kingdom. Christian: what do you know about the Kingdom of God? In Luke, Jesus will speak about it 40x. Not-yet-Christian: well introduce you to an important concept in your understanding of Jesus. 1) Cosmic Implications; 2) Personal Implications 4:31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, It was the home of Peter & Andrew, James & John, & the home of their fishing business. Capernaum was Jesus own city (Mt. 9:1). He adopted it as his own & it became his base

4:32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. Mark adds, and not as the teachers of the law (1:22). Jesus is teaching, people are astonished, and then something unexpected happened.

4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you arethe Holy One of God. Objection: Im not sure I can buy into Christianity if it means I have to believe in demons! o I know its hard to believe; I wouldnt unless Jesus taught me to believe this. Being a follower of Jesus means you see the world as Jesus saw the world. Dan McDonalds trip to Cuba: man running naked down the street screaming, took a group of 5 men gang-tackling him to hold him down & restrain him. Many people around the world have a different view than many in the West.

I share some of your skepticism of the claims to demon-possession today. Some people seem to see a demon behind every bush. o Butonly 2x in the OT (possibly); only 2x outside the gospels (Acts) o a special phenomenon which was particularly frequent during Jesus earthly sojourn and thus was directly connected with His coming to destroy the power of darkness (N. Geldenhuys). o Is it possible that Jesus knows what he is talking about here? Is it possible that he has greater spiritual insight than you do?

Ha an interjection of displeasure; not surprise but of terror & dismay. o imperative form of eaw: Leave us alone! / NIV: Stay away. Have you come to destroy us? o The demon knows the ultimate mission of God, just not when exactly this would take place. He is struck with the conviction that his destruction is waiting. o 1 John 3:8, The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be silent and come out of him! And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 3x in this passage we are told that Jesus rebuked something. Jesus protects this man from physical harm. The contrast between the screaming of the demon and the immediate silence must have been jarring.

36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out! 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region. o The crowds were amazed at the (1) authority of Jesus; (2) power of Jesus. o Jesus simply speaks a word/sentence. No secret formulas, no mumbo jumbo. Get out! 38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Jesus rebuked the fever. Same word used to rebuke the demon. Is there a demonic reason behind the sickness? One moment she was lying sick; the next she was serving Jesus.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. Hughes 155, This was an unrestrained display of raw kingdom power. Usually, in the Jewish mindset, if you touched a diseased person, you would be ceremonially unclean. Why? Because you are contaminated by the sickness. But something different happens here: Jesus touches people, & they are infected with wholeness. 2

41 And demons also came out of many, crying, You are the Son of God! But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. It seems that at least some of the sicknesses were due to demonic origin. Why did Jesus not want them saying that He was the Christ?

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose. 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea. Mark 1:35, and there he prayed. People of Capernaum wanted to co-opt Jesus for their own purposes. They had certain agendas that Jesus would be helpful to fulfill. Were a lot like them. o Jesus, Im not going to take you on this business trip, but I want you around when its time to close the deal. o Jesus, I want you to make that cute boy like me. o Jesus, I want you to sprinkle some pixie-dust on my husband to make him change. o Jesus, I want you to make the Flames win the Stanley cup this year. o Life isnt about my kingdom, but Gods kingdom. Jesus didnt come to be a miracle worker, but to preach the gospel. o Miracles helped to testify to whom Jesus was, but a lot of people didnt get it. o Miracles always demonstrated the power & authority of the Kingdom of God. There was always a message in the miracle, a sermon in the sign. The Kingdom of God was breaking in upon this world in the ministry of Jesus Key Insight: Its possible to try to co-opt Jesus for any agenda under the sun all the while totally ignoring the very agenda Jesus embodied. Application: 1. LET GO of your small kingdom ambitions. The heart of Jesus ministry is the proclamation of the kingdom of God. o Matthew 3:2, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. o Mark 1:15, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel. The kingdom of God is simply the kind rule of God. o The rule of God is so central to the teaching of Jesus that you cannot understand the mission of Jesus if you dont understand this. Jesus mission is to connect us to this kind rule of God. Jesus doesnt offer to help us build our small claustrophobic kingdoms, but to graciously give us an eternal kingdom. 3

2. RECEIVE Gods kingdom as a gift. Luke 12:32, Fear not, little flock, for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 18:18ff, Jesus compares the gift of the kingdom with inheriting eternal life.

3. SEEK first the interests of Gods kingdom Matthew 6:31-33, Do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Calgary: Imaginea New City What if everyone in Calgary lived under the kind rule of Jesus? What if one less person decided to cheat on his spouse? What if one less teenager decided to use drugs? What if one less couple decided to opt for an easy divorce? What if one less person sacrificed their family over their career? What if Calgary could see reality as Jesus saw it? What if everyone lived under his kind rule? NCC What if we stopped trying to co-opt Jesus for our own personal agendas and instead adopted his agenda for the world? What if we gave ourselves to see the kingdom of God spread throughout our city? What if we got serious about seeing more churches started in this city? What if we believed the Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom more? Key Point: Life isnt about my kingdom, but Gods kingdom.