15 A great light in darkness

Luke 4:31-37
Isaiah 9:1-7

T At the city of Capernaum

 Last time, we saw that Jesus went to His own town Nazareth and told the Gospel, but the people of Nazareth said "He is a son of worthless carpenter" and rejected Him. They did not accept Jesus, but pulled Him to the outside of the city and were going to push Him from there. Nazareth was a town in the basin on the mountain, and the city limits was a small hill; and a deep cliff showed the face there. They judged Jesus who assumed Himself the Messiah, as the one who profaned God. The judgment on "the One who assumed Himself God" was death penalty and, for that execution, they would take Jesus to the edge of a precipice. They have canceled the worship of the Sabbath for their justice. Their stubbornness to insist on justice of oneself than the worship to God reaches here; and still now, we can see it is breathing in Israel in walls separating the Palestinian. However, Jesus passed between them, and never came back to Nazareth afterwards.

 "And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galiee. And He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority." (31-32); and Luke begin a new article with an independent parenthesis again. And the point of this morning is an event in Capernaum. There is it, "Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here..." (4:23); possibly this article may have been before He went to Nazareth. It seems that Luke is going to draw two postures of a person who refuses Jesus or who accepts Jesus, by displaying two towns, Nazareth and Capernaum. Capernaum was at a point of the traffic which is near to the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, and many people lived there, and there was the solemn Jew assembly hall (a synagogue), and it was the second local city next to Tiberlas (a palace of feudal lord Herod Antipas was there). This town becomes the Jesus pou sto place in the Galilee district before long. And Luke begins to write down the event of the town of Capernaum while being conscious of it. The beginning was an event at 4:33-37.

U Less than the demon?

 "And there was a man in the synagogue possessed by spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 'Ha! What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-the Holy One of God!'"(33-34) Probably, it seems this was the acted first miracle of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum. It began from where the person fascinated by a demon reacted keenly to Jesus who entered the synagogue. The existence of the demon; the scientific? modern people laugh it down to be the mythical world that is irrationality, but the Bible regards them as one of existence to be vested of Satan. And the Bible warn that they are at a loss around us still now. By the way, who will be able to decide that "He was fascinated by a demon"? It is thought that it was "the world public opinion" of then; but in fact, the authority of that field declared "he is fascinated by a demon", and the people recognized it "are so" for the first time, I think. Perhaps the leaders of the synagogue such as Sopher or the Pharisee would be the authorities. Later, Jesus was said by Pharisees, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul" (11:15), and they were going to cross Him out from Israeli society by putting such a label on Jesus. Though the label pasting in such a bad meaning is done at the present age also, but we must not become such a friend with them. By the way, such a person who was recognized like that, was prohibited from coming and going to the synagogue, and to contact with the citizen was forbidden; however, strangely, a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon was in the synagogue to worship on the Sabbath. Probably, the people of Capernaum would be kind to "a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon", not be the demon.

 But the demon recognized Jesus precisely. The expression called "the Holy One of God" means "the One who was sent by God", that is the Messiah. When people refused Jesus overall like people of Nazareth or they were still half in doubt "possibly He is the Messiah", the demon confessed "you are the Messiah", and is frightened to the power to destroy them completely. As for God, an irony that we have only insensibility less than a demon seems to be pointed out here.

V A great light in darkness

 Jesus scolded him, and said. "'Be quiet and come out of him!' And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him without doing him any harm." (35) Why did the immaterial existence (the demon) "threw down him"?, it is mysterious; but, the person who was connected by the demon in the graveyard had power to cut off the chain (Luke 8:29). Surely they will make our world the stage of their activity though we can not see it to our eyes. (Here is form of some translation, but it is explained in Japanese translation example.) By the way, the demon threw the man to the full, it seems that the nuance of it is a simple demonstration, as having avoided injuring it on purpose. Probably, it was because they were afraid of power of Jesus. However, when we think the demon is the subordinate of Satan against God thoroughly, the translation of 新改訳 will be appropriate. Probably, he would show his strong power by "throwing down that person" before Jesus, and would want to look down the power of Jesus. Possibly, he might try to give that person the damage as the death. He said that "You are - the Holy One of God!". It is able to hear carefully on the words; but, in his true character, the malice and the hostility consciousness to Jesus become bare, don't you think so?

 However, Luke saw through the demon's malice and wrote, "he came out of him without doing him any harm.". Jesus did not say anything and do anything, but, it seems that there was a fierce fight against the power of the demon, in that silence. Surely, Luke superimposed himself on the man possessed by a demon, and wrote this article while feeling an intense fight with a demon (around himself) and Jesus is still continuing, I think. And the man possessed by a demon isn't us, too?

 Because here is it, "in the midst"; the people who were in the synagogue would surround Jesus and the man by all standing up. They were surprised, "What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." (36). They did not notice a fight of the silence with Jesus and the demon. It was authority and power of Jesus that they have witnessed. It might be a superficial thing, but it was an event to give such an impact. "And the report about Him was getting out into every locality in the surrounding district." (37); it became a chance that the work of Jesus was realized in the Galilee district. It did not seem that Jesus had such calculation, so that, people of Galilee would be able to trust Jesus deeply. "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them." (Isaiah 9:2) The event that the prophet saw into right began. The demon was the leading role of darkness. Who is groping around for hope in the darkness? Will not it be us? We want to notice a great light of Jesus which came to the darkness, don't you?