What Is This Word?

Footsteps of Jesus

Luke 4:33-36 (English Standard Version)
And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “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.” 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. 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!”

We’re told that those in the crowd “were all amazed” as they witnessed Jesus free a suffering man from his oppressor. The Greek word used here for “amazed” is thambos, which is “an emotion in which awe and fear are mingled” (Friberg lexicon). “What is this word?” the people ask. How did this man Jesus manage to cast out the demon– simply by the power of his voice? From where, they wonder, did this authority come?

John 1:1-5: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

The darkness was right to fear Jesus on that day in the synagogue. It was correct in asking “Have you come to destroy us?” Because the answer was yes. Jesus– the Word– came to overcome the darkness. For all time.

What is your understanding of Jesus’ authority? How does he have authority in your life? What does that look like?

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