What is true authority?
Even though one has little to do with the other, I was just reminded of a picture need from a US photo agency.
The request was about psychological studies of yore.
One study in particular was the The Milgram Experiment.
This study involved using participants to administer electric shocks to subjects to control learning.
The subject did not actually receive shocks but the participant believed they did.
So, the Milgram experiment concluded that, people would follow orders from authority figures, even though it was against their moral beliefs to do so.
According to Wiki, “the experiment found, unexpectedly, that a very high proportion of subjects would fully obey the instructions, albeit reluctantly.”
Interesting; But what does this have to do with today’s Bible lesson?
Not much, except people do tend to follow authority figures — good or bad.
Thankfully, Jesus was (and still is) the very best authority.
This Bible study lesson from Luke teaches us; when Satan brings obstacles, Jesus’ authority still prevails today.
People were amazed at the knowledge of Jesus when He taught them at Capernaum.
Christ was rejected in Nazareth (His hometown), but the people responded to His message in Galilee.
And, we should listen to Him too!
Let’s read this passage from Luke 4:31-37 and discover the power of true authority…
Jesus Teaches with Authority in Capernaum
“And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee; and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, because His message was delivered with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave us alone! What business do You have 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 quiet and come out of him!”
And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, it came out of him without doing him any harm.
And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another, saying, “What is this message?
For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”
And the news about Him was spreading into every locality of the surrounding region.” – Luke 4:31-37 (NASB)
Jesus in the Synagogue – A Visiting Preacher?
In Jesus’ time, Jewish custom dictated that visitors to the synagogue were allowed to teach.
And, of course Christ was a visitor in every new town when he arrived.
So, Jesus used this policy to get His message to the people.
Paul also used this same practice in his evangelistic journey (Acts 13:5, 14:1).
The Demon Possessed Man
When Jesus taught, a demon possessed man caused a disruption of the service and screamed at Him.
Just as the serpent entered the Garden of Eden, Satan raises his head anywhere he feels that God is working – even in church!
Yes, anytime you start to do something that will further God’s Word, help the church or do anything that will bring more people to Christ, Satan will rear his ugly head.
But, as we study Scripture, both in the old and new testament, we understand that God will prevail.
And, His will is going to get done — no matter what the obstacles.
The good news is, Jesus does not ask us to shock anyone like those participants in the Milgram experiment.
All He asks us to do is follow His two commandments and share with others what He’s done in our lives.
And yes, the next time you are in a situation and have a project God has asked you to do, there will most likely be some roadblocks along the way.
When these roadblocks and distractions come, we must look past the problem and see God.
Truth is, when we earnestly work for God, demons cannot remain where Christ is.
Remember, Satan can only delay us if we allow him to interfere.
He has no power over God!
In Luke (and other passages), Jesus overcame the demons in the synagogues.
So, He can certainly keep them out of our lives… if we only believe.
Love in Christ
If you have never made the commitment to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to Read John 3:16 and learn how.