Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chris and I took the dogs to Mukilteo Beach for an evening walk. Beautiful night after a blah day. I did not think that I would like this park once the city took it over from the state, but they have done a lovely job with it. The tide was in so we could not go far. Still, we had to go somewhere. Bible Study is canceled until August because of vacations.

I love Wednesday night Bible Study. Maybe even more then I like Sunday morning church. The time spent in a home with dear friends, studying the Word, praying, even just laughing. It gives me a charge that I need to keep my heart from turning inside of itself.

We are in the book of Luke, and probably will be for a long time at the rate we go. But I like the pace. Slow enough to keep up with serious study in the midst of our busy week. At least one question came up last week, maybe two. I'm not sure if one of them was my own, unspoken question or if it came up in the group.

Our passage was Luke 4:31-44. The first question has to do with understanding the word, "rebuked" as in;

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!"... Luke 4:35a

Zodhiates tells me that Messiah censored (to suppress objectionable content) the demon.

I understand that He did this to the demon, but why? Where is the harm in the proclamation that Jesus is, "the Holy One of God!"? Shouldn't that be a help to him?

I have noticed that the congregation was amazed by his authority. Authority looks like a theme in Luke chapter 4. The chapter begins with the devil's temptations. The second temptation has to do with authority. The devil has authority over all of the world. He gained it from Adam, the rightful steward of the world. But Adam lost it when he sinned. Now, in Luke 4, the devil says that he will give the authority of the world to Jesus if only Jesus will bow down and worship the devil. Instead, Jesus resists the devil and the authority that he already has begins to shine. People see it and are amazed. So, what (you may wonder) does this have to do with the rebuke of the demon who says that he knows who Jesus is.

I was born-again in a little Pentecostal church in Lake Stevens, Washington. The congregation had a practice of rebuking demons in Jesus name. But they insisted that they did not have authority over the demon unless they new who it was by name or title. I did not much buy into the practice. But I wonder now if that is not exactly what the demon is doing. When he tells Jesus to mind his own business (what do we have to do with you?) he adds that he knows who he is, in the same way the Pentecostals did back in Lake Stevens while engaging in spiritual warfare. Was this his way of trying to assert authority over Jesus?

Jesus shut him up. The one who shut the mouth of lions for Daniel, shut the mouth of the wicked. This same Jesus has promised to never leave me, to never forsake me. The truth of his voice sets me free from the roaring lion of Peter. Truly, what can anyone say to discourage me.

Let me hear your voice my dear Jesus!

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