A reading from the gospel according to Luke 4:31-37
31 Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath,
32 and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice,
34 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
35 Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.
36 They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
37 And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
Reflection: Power and Authority of Jesus
Good News: Jesus can free us from unclean spirits
In this gospel episode, Jesus performs His first miracle in Luke by showing His power and authority over unclean spirits and the people who witnessed it were amazed. Indeed, Jesus is Lord over everything. He has the power to drive away evil spirits. He has come to free us from anything that has enslaved us.
Demons too Know who Jesus is. They recognize His power and authority and they tremble when they hear His name. These demons are everywhere. They are all around us even in the synagogue or in our church.
What happened in our gospel reading is the fulfillment of the mission of Jesus – to set the captives free. There are people who are physically and emotionally possessed by the devil but there are situations in our life where the enslavement of the devil is very subtle and we may not be aware of it. Our addiction to many things is one example.
As believers, we can invoke the name of Jesus to defeat evil. It is not enough to be astonished or amazed at His power and authority. We need to have faith in Him and accept His power and authority. There is evil everywhere but if we make Jesus the Lord in all aspect of our lives, we will have total freedom from the evil ones.
As disciples, the mission of Jesus is also our mission. We are sent to preach the good news and to set the captives free. Like in the days of Jesus, we will be met with opposition. Let us pray that the Lord may share with us His power and authority to overcome all kinds of opposition and persecution.
See also: Matthew 8:28-34 Reflection
Additional Reflection / Questions for discussion or meditation:
1. What is the significance of the healing of the man possessed with unclean spirit in the structure of Luke’s gospel? Is it significant that in the performance of our mission, we are first cleansed?
2. Who is the real enemy that we are battling with?
3. Is there an area in our life where the Demon is at work? Do we want that demon to be driven away or is it convenient for us to leave it that way?
4. Do we invoke the name of Jesus in everything we do?
5. Did someone say or do something with power and authority that amazed us? Was there any form of opposition from us?
6. What can we do to free people from the influence of the devil?