Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 4 Study Notes
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4 November 12, 2006 Lincolnton, NC
35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.
36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
1901 ASV Translation:
35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no hurt.
36 And amazement came upon all, and they spake together, one with another, saying, What is this word? for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
37 And there went forth a rumor concerning him into every place of the region round about.
I. Jesus' Rebuke of the Demoniac.
A. The "rebuke".
1. The word is used in Matthew 8:26 to refer to a demand that the winds stop blowing and that the sea settle down.
2. It is used in Matthew 12:16 to refer to a demand that the people not make Him manifest.
3. Peter "rebuked" Jesus when he told Him that His prophecy of death was not to be. In effect, he attempted to stop Jesus from saying those kinds of things.
4. The term is used whenever a person attempts to alter another person's behavior with a demand.
B. The "Hold thy peace".
1. The word is used in the sense of putting a muzzle on the mouth to keep it from doing its "natural" thing -- thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he is treading out the grain....
2. It is used when a person is rendered "speechless" by either demand or argument (2 Peter 2:15; Matthew 22:34).
C. The "come out of him".
1. This is a fundamental "exorcism".
2. It is a demand that the "spirit" abandon the body.
a. This requirement by Jesus hit at a very profound level of the demon's value system because demons seem to have an almost desperate desire to possess a body.
b. Thus, the demand by Jesus was not a simple "obedience" issue. It was, rather, an "obedience" issue that reached down into the grime of the lower levels of demonic "love" and was all the more profound because Jesus could issue such a demand and get obedience. This is the reason that it was so impressive.
D. The question is "Why?".
1. On the one hand, it appears that Jesus did not wish for the demons to identify Him.
a. Perhaps, but what if He simply wished to reveal His authority over the demons with no regard for whatever it was that they had to say?
b. The testimony of the demons was significant: they identified Him as the Holy One of God.
1) Demons were notably "liars". Even when they used "true" words, there was a twist involved that was designed to mislead.
2) Demons were "impressive" to humans -- men did not know how to deal with their superior power, their wilfulness, and their obvious destructiveness, but neither did they use "discernment" about the things they said.
c. But Jesus' obvious authority over them did much more than their words -- without that "power" their words would have meant little and the exercise of that "power" was so much more convincing than the words that it made the words to be of little real significance.
2. Just as clearly, on the other hand, Luke did wish to use the demon's identification of Him for his own argument.
a. There is a time-frame difference between Luke and Jesus.
1) Jesus' words and actions were set within the framework of the divine revelation of the Plan before many of the crucial events had taken place -- most notably the resurrection from the dead.
2) Luke's words are a record of those words and actions afterthefact so that they had a different "context". Theophilus had already been "taught" the truths of the Gospel before Luke wrote the details. Luke's effort was one of "shoring up" what was already believed. It makes a difference whether certain facts of "context" are known or unknown when it comes to evaluating how the words should be taken.
b. There is also an "experience" factor that is significantly different. The people in the synagogue actually experienced the reality of Jesus' authority. Theophilus was only reading about it. When "experience" is the basis for reaction, the reaction is rooted in different soil than when "testimony" is the basis. Luke's attempt was to put the facts before Theophilus so that he could believe them without having had the luxury of actually experiencing those facts. "Blessed are they who 'believe without seeing'" (John 20:29). It seems that the "pattern" is "experience" for the initially exposed and "testimony" for those who come afterward. Just as a child begins to learn by experience and then moves to learning by thinking, so also was the revelation of God given to men: first the demonstration, then the insistence upon reason. The Word of God requires "reason" since it is "testimony" about experience and not "experience" itself.
II. Luke's Focus Upon the Demon's Obedience.
A. The demon did "throw him in their midst".
B. But he also "came out of him".
C. And we are told that "he hurt him not".
D. The Point: the demon was compelled to obey Jesus. Apparently, Jesus did not hold to the silly notion that the creature's "will" is inviolable. If Jesus could (and did) violate the "sanctity" of the creature's volition for the sake of others, it does not make sense that He would refuse to violate it for the sake of the person who possessed it. When men say to others, "You have a free will and God will not just 'run over you' in order to bring you into His Kingdom", they are quite wrong. Jesus will do whatever He has to do to bring the Plan to pass -- with the exception of "sinning" (though, even here, the Gospel is that Jesus deliberately took man's sin upon Himself and, by that action, created a kind of breach in the Godhead -- the Father forsook the Son -- in order to bring the plan to pass).
III. The Larger Issue...
A. At the beginning, Luke began to argue for a transition from "Law" to "Grace" by means of his record regarding "John".
B. The issue, according to Luke's mentor (the apostle Paul), was the expression of the glory of God in such a way that men might be able to see His "holiness" -- and the "problem" was His "justice" in view of His "justification of sinners" (Romans 3:26).
C. The method Jesus used was a combination of "explanation" and "demonstration".
D. The method Luke used was "testimony".
E. The major "problem" is that two distinctly different "kingdoms" concurrently exist in this universe and each is vying for supremacy in the hearts and heads of created persons (angelic, demonic, and human) sothat they may endure.
1. This is not about "existing"; it is about defining and experiencing "life" by means of authority.
2. At the very root of this "kingdom conflict" is one single issue: the "essence" of Life. Out of this "essence" issue arises all of the complexities of "love" and "faith". At every point within the complexities there are two questions: what is life and how does it work? And, as long as both kingdoms concurrently exist, at every point there will be two divergent answers ("you will die"/"you will not die" -- Genesis 2:17/3:4). One of those answers will always be "Law" and the other will always be "Grace".
3. As the "foot soldiers" of the Kingdom of Light, the "angels" will always be messengers of "Grace" and the "demons" will be sponsors of "Law".