Jesus' Heart to Deliver
Topic: The Gospel Verse: Luke 4:38–4:44
I. Jesus Compassion for the Sick – 4:38-39
A. The Appeal to Christ for Help – v. 38
- Jesus desire to bring glory to the Father was unceasing – it seems that with every movement He was attempting to do the next thing that the Spirit of God directed Him to do.
- We are told that when the “service” at the synagogue ended, Jesus “got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home.”
- This was possible since no one would bother Him as it was the Sabbath and everyone would have to return directly to their own homes.
- Simon Peter was originally from Bethsaida but had moved to Capernaum in order to operate a fishing business – cp. John 1:44; Matthew 4:18.
- He had recently been called to follow Jesus – Mark 1:16-20.
- It is apparent that Jesus was staying there at “Simon’s home” as were several others of Jesus’ disciples – cp. Mark 1:29
- When they arrived at the house, Jesus immediately noticed that “Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever” – cp. Matthew 8:14-15
- We are told that even as Jesus noticed the illness, those who were waiting for Jesus & the men to return immediately asked Him for help – “… and they asked Him to help her.”
- Simon’s household was able to suffer through the “high fever” and the concern about this woman’s welfare since they knew that Jesus would be coming “home” at any time and would be able to do something “to help her.”
- It seems that for us, the same confidence and appeals are able to be made to Jesus as He and we have the familiarity, fellowship, and rapport that enables such a request.
B. The Authority of Christ to Heal – v. 39
- Jesus immediately responds to their “prayer” and goes over to her “and standing over her, He rebuked the fever …” – cp. Mark 1:31
- The word “rebuked” [ἐπιτιμάω] comes from the word frequently used to address demons – and means “to express strong disapproval, or to warn”
- The nuance that we find here is that all sickness is the result of sin – not necessarily personal sin, but the natural consequence of living as a sinner in a sin sick world, the consequences of sin will inevitably impact and affect us.
- Jesus treats this illness for what it is, the effect of sin in this sin-fallen world.
- The fact that the fever “left her” without any period of recovery necessary – she was just immediately healed – demonstrates that Jesus has the authority to make right what sin causes.
- His authority is so comprehensive that “… she immediately got up and waited on them.”
- Out of both gratitude and godly display she showed the genuineness and integrity of the miracle of healing – not like the charlatans today who carefully craft the illusions in their healing services.
- How What are some common reasons that you neglect to approach Jesus for His power in times of need?
- How could your ministry of intercession for others be enhanced?
- How do you typically respond to God when He does something gracious in your life?
II. Jesus’ Compassion for the Seekers – 4:40-41
A. The Approachability of Christ – v. 40
- Jesus’ notoriety had only been magnified during the synagogue meeting when He took care of the demoniac – displaying the power and authority that Jesus had over evil.
- For a brief period of hours, Jesus was able to rest and eat the main noon meal of the Sabbath – until the Sabbath restrictions concluded with the arrival of sundown.
- The Jewish day began at 6:00 PM and concluded at 6:00 PM the following day. Thus, “While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him”
- The power of God of which they had heard and that had been substantiated in their own presence was now something that they desperately sought on behalf of loved ones and neighbors.
- The suffering that was represented by the description of those being brought indicated how eager they were to find relief – they were “sick” [ἀσθενέω] – a term that means “debilitated,” “incapacitated,” or “weak.”
- The city was completely overwhelmed by the possibility of Jesus relieving them of the physical sicknesses that had caused so many social problems for them – cp. Mark 1:33
- This impromptu “flash mob” was something that began after sundown and therefore went late into the night with Jesus patiently and personally accommodating each one of them – “… and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them.”
- Jesus was willing to heal the final sick person with the same zeal, power, and authority as He had the first one who had come to Him.
- In our own experience, we know that the grace of God and the interest in Jesus of providing compassion toward us is as full and powerful as ever; He remains approachable as we come to Him with our needs.
B. The Antagonism of Christ – v. 41
- Yet, not everyone is welcome to acknowledge Jesus and give tribute to Him.
- The scene must have been fairly chaotic with people scrambling to get to Jesus before the opportunity with withdrawn.
- In the midst of this chaos, “Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’”
- Their shrieks were expressions of their terror – even as modeled by the demon cast out in the previous section earlier that same day.
- The authority of Jesus was unquestionable to them – they “knew Him to be the Christ” – but Jesus was not willing for such a sordid source to magnify Him lest confusion be generated as to the relationship between Jesus and wickedness.
- Therefore, Jesus was “rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak” – but rather exercised complete authority over them.
- These demons represented the nature of evil that was the cause of the very illnesses that He was busily healing and His defiant antagonism toward them is the very attitude that Jesus possesses toward all of our sin.
- Are there things that cause a delay in you approaching Jesus with needs?
- When was the last time that you sensed that Jesus directly assisted you in a need?
- Identify one way that you can testify that you know Jesus to be the Christ. Are you willing to do it
III. Jesus’ Compassion for the Self-Satisfied - 4:42-44
A. The Preparation to Provide Compassion - v. 42a
- Remarkably, Jesus exercised His grace and compassion late into the night.
- Jesus opportunity to rest was minimal as the flow of the story seems to take us directly from the activity of the night directly into the morning account – “When day came …” – cp. Mark 1:35
- There wasn’t a sense of “I can dismiss any personal time with God because I’m tired,” but rather He realized that if He were going to have the strength to glorify the Father, it was necessary for Him to honor the Father and spend time with Him.
- Therefore, before sun up “when day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place” and we know it was for the opportunity of fellowship with God – cp. Mark 1:35.
- His effectiveness as a servant of the Lord was completely dependent upon the strength that He received through His being filled with the Spirit – something that comes through communion with God in prayer and in the Word.
B. The Priority of Providing Compassion – vv. 42b-43
- As the sun came up, people came back to Simon’s house to engage Jesus again for the purpose of gaining blessing – in some way or another.
- Yet, Jesus was nowhere to be found – not even the disciples knew where He had gone – cp. Mark 1:36-37
- In our text, Luke states: “… and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.”
- This demonstrated the ego-centric priorities of both the disciples as well as the citizens in Capernaum – they wanted to remain the primary beneficiaries of what Christ had to offer.
- Nevertheless, Jesus “said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.’”
- He had preached the Gospel to these people and His passion was to preach repentance and the Kingdom of God to sinners who had no idea of their drastic need for the grace of God.
- This is the first time that the phrase “the kingdom of God” occurs in Luke – occurring 30 times in the Gospel.
- He speaks of proclaiming the Kingdom of God – 4:43; 8:1; 9:2, 60; 16:6
- He speaks of entering the Kingdom of God – 18:24-25
- He speaks of seeking the Kingdom of God – 12:31
- He speaks of the Kingdom of God being “at hand” or “near” – 10:9-11
- He speaks of the Kingdom of God being future – 13:29; 21:31
- He speaks of the Kingdom of God being spiritual at this point – 17:20-21
- He speaks of the Kingdom of God possessing a future material realm – 22:28-30
- He speaks of the Kingdom of God as a gift to God’s children – 12:32.
- The “Kingdom of God” should be understood as the sovereign rule of God in the hearts and lives of God’s people that effects their complete salvation and results in the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises of both spiritual and physical blessing to Abraham.
- Jesus realized that benefitting from healing, and other miracles saves no one – only the preaching of the Gospel produces faith.
- Thus, Jesus came to preach the Gospel and call sinners to repentance – a far more loving act than meeting a temporal need without the confrontation of their eternal spiritual need.
C. The Persistence in Providing Compassion – v. 44
- This final verse in chapter 4 summarizes the persistent pursuit of Christ – “So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”
- Jesus’ miracles were secondary and inferior activities to the primary activity of “preaching” the Gospel to people who were lost.
- “Preaching” [κηρύσσω] –a word that means to “make an official announcement; to publicly make known; a proclamation.”
- These people were self-satisfied with their moral condition and essentially saw their need with a limited view of their physical conditions.
- Jesus desired to deliver them from their presuppositions of propriety and call them to repent of the estrangement from the God that they purport to know and serve.
- How important are your own “secluded place” moments in your spiritual formation?
- What are the weightiest “obligations” that you feel you have as a member of the Kingdom of God?
- Is there a particular ministry that you consistently find yourself engaged in or drawn to?