Last week Jesus taught us that he comes for sinners, not the righteous—for those who are sick, not those who are well. In Luke 4:31-41, Jesus displays the truth of those words by casting out of a demon from a man and the healing of Simon Peter’s mother in law from a high fever.
As Jesus goes to Capernaum to minister, he was teaching on the Sabbath in the synagogue, and there was a man with an unclean spirit (v.31-33).
- Do you believe in the existence of unclean spirits? Do you believe that that unclean spirits can possess and oppress people still today? Be honest.
- Do you tend to be dismissive of spiritual warfare, or do you tend to see demons around every corner? With your HFG, identify the problems with playing up or playing down spiritual warfare. Then, discuss the Bible’s teaching on the matter.
- Have you ever dealt with spiritual oppression? How would you know if you were? Using the Bible, consider the spiritual indications of demonic oppression. Share and discuss with your home fellowship group. Take time to pray for those who may be facing spiritual oppression presently (cf. I John 3:8)
The demon spoke through the man and identified who Jesus was (v.34)
- James tells us that demons believe in God and even shudder (James 2:19), and yet they are not saved. What does this teach us about demons and about the nature of true belief?
- Why did Jesus silence the demon when he rightly identified him as the Holy One of God?
In the second story, Jesus visits Peter’s house and heals his mother in law (v.38-39)
- Jesus rebukes (v.39) the fever in the same way he rebuked (v.35) the spirit in the previous story (see also v.41). What is a rebuke, and why is rebuke used in both of these instances for spiritual and physical healing?
Throughout the narrative, Luke is highlighting the unique power and authority of Jesus Christ (v.32, 36, 40-41).
- With all this talk of spiritual oppression and physical brokenness, what comfort are we to derive from Paul’s promise that Christ has “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col.1:13). If you are in Christ, take time now to pray this verse and rest in the absolute power of Christ to preserve you against the onslaughts of the Evil One.