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.
Standing at her bedside, He rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them.
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.
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.Luke 4:38-41
I have deliberately separated these few short verses off for comment because there are some interesting things which they contain and also because this is a distinct pericope that Mark initially placed following the story of the man in the Synagogue who was released from the grip of satan. This story complements the one before in that we see Jesus’ authority not only over the demonic world but over sickness as well. Jesus rebukes demons and he rebukes sickness as well. Jesus is open and willing to minister to the needs of the people. Oh one could argue of course he would want to help this woman because she is Simon’s mother-in–law. Being in Capernaum he goes to Simon’s home. From the text of Luke we could argue that he didn’t know Simon Peter yet because he hasn’t chosen His disciples. But looking at the arrangement of both Matthew and Mark’s gospels the selection of the disciples has already taken place. Luke in following Mark’s arrangement of the gospels here doesn’t insert the pericope of choosing the disciples. He leaves it till later. It is natural therefore that Jesus would go to Simon’s house and there be persuaded to heal his mother-in-law. In Mark’s account it is clear that only at the house did Jesus know Simon’s mother-in-law was sick. Naturally He healed her. But what a healing. Immediately she gets up and prepares a meal for them.
Luke’s account of the other healings are again a little more all encompassing than Mark’s. Once the news of the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law went out around the village, people started bringing those who were sick all over the village. Luke adds “No matter what their diseases were, the touch of His hand healed every one.” We are not told specifically but we could assume that Jesus continued to rebuke disease. He rebukes demons and He rebukes disease. The story closes with Jesus rebuking demons again. One would expect that the other healings which took place were accomplished by a touch of His hand and a rebuke. Messiah has authority over demonic world and over sickness and disease.
With addition of more demons coming out at His command Luke adds something interesting. Mark only writes: But because the demons knew who He was, He did not allow them to speak. But Luke adds they came out shouting “You are the Son of God.” In the previous pericope we saw they called Him “Jesus of Nazareth” and the “Holy One sent from God”. These are all statements that demons are making. They know that He is
Jesus of Nazareth The Holy One sent from God Son of God Messiah
That’s pretty impressive really. The disciples and others don’t know this so clearly at this point. They are only just beginning to realize this One they are with has power over everything really. It is not until later Peter makes His statements declaring Who Jesus is. At this early stage it is not so clear. But the demons know. Satan and demons have feared this moment, the coming of the One who would ultimately command them to their destruction in the lake of fire. But all four gospels record for us that Jesus rebuked the demons at some stage and told them not to speak about Him and His ministry. Luke makes it clear in this passage before us that it was because they knew He was Messiah that He rebuked them and told them not to speak or tell anyone. Interesting. These four things they have said are all true. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy One sent from God, Son of God, Messiah. While they are liars like their father the devil, in this case they are not lying. Why not allow them to spread the message as well. If our enemies know who we are what our assignment is that makes our job even easier. It is like they gives credence to it. Right? No wrong, because it comes with a slant that is skewed.
There were many interpretations of what Messiah would do when He came. Most imagine He was coming as an emancipator who would free them from Roman rule; He would restore the kingdom. Oh not the Kingdom of God but the kingdom of Israel. Many of the zealots and freedom fighter of the day picked up on this and used it to espouse their cause. You can bet that when the demons spoke up “for Christ” that it would have a demonic slant to it. [The word used here is not “Messiah” but in fact Christos or Christ. But the meaning is the same. Christos meant the Anointed One which is exactly what Messiah means.] Jesus rebuked the demons and commanded them not to speak about His Messiahship and what it meant because they would couch it in terms of the false expectations in the land at the time. That was NOT why Messiah had come.
Furthermore it was an issue of timing. His time had not yet come as John took great pains to tell us. This Messianic ministry was to be disclosed in God’s time, not man’s and certainly not in satan’s timing. Satan was all for precipitating the action and pushing Jesus to show Himself, knowing full well it would be prematurely. If satan can’t stop you from doing something (for God), he will push you into doing it at the wrong time. The wrong time being either too soon or too late. Either way is fine with him. Jesus was careful to not rush ahead and do things in His time. Rather He was careful to do only what the Father wished Him to do and in the Father’s timing. That is a good lesson for us to learn.
Delayed obedience is disobedence.Ian Vail
Rushed obedience is also disobedience. Learn to do things in God’s time.Ian Vail
Three difficult lessons: Learning to obey God’s Word; learning to trust God’s timing; Learning to love those who need it most.Rick Warren