Today’s faithful daily reading is from Luke 4:31-39.
In this passage we have a clear example of the power and authority of Jesus. Those in Capernaum who hear him speak are amazed and news about this man with his powerful words spreads throughout the surrounding area. A man possessed by a demon recognises Jesus for who he is – the Holy One of God. Jesus rebukes a fever and it leaves. His words are clearly words of power and authority.
Often, at least in my line of work, being able to use words powerfully means being able to make the best argument. Power comes through words when others believe you’re right. However, the power and authority in Jesus’ words is so much more than this. His words drive out demons, they banish fevers and they draw great crowds to him. Words are powerful. We know this well. However, Jesus’ words are life changing. Simon’s mother-in-law’s response is a fitting one. The fever leaves her, she gets up at once and begins to wait on them. She is healed and her response is one of grateful service.
Last Sunday we had the privilege to attend Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Tim Keller’s church) in New York. What a privilege it was to worship with fellow followers of Christ and sing praises to our great God. Together with people half a world away from our place of regular worship we sang of our indescribable, uncontainable God. Just as the news about Jesus spreads throughout the surrounding area in this passage, so too has it spread throughout the world. The same power and authority that the crowd clearly beheld in Jesus’ words still continues to captivate us today. No matter where we live or what the new year holds for us may we never forget the awesome power and authority of the God we serve and may we continue to use our own words to glorify him.