July 07, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Savior at Capernaum
Power over demons
He came to Capernaum; it would be the center of His movements and ministry. As He entered a synagogue on a Sabbath day, He was met by a man who had a demon. The demon cries out to be left alone but the Lord Jesus came to undo the works of Satan (1 John 3:8). He casts out the demon and the amazement of the crowd swells as they considered not only His doctrine and authority, but His power over demons.
His fame and reputation are growing. What public arena will He seek out to show His might and increase His fame? What important personage will He interact with to assure His place among the mighty and renowned of earth?
Watch as He makes His way to a humble home and an elderly woman.
The Physician Who Heals
Peter’s wife’s mother – she was not likely high on the list of socialites of the city. Perhaps here was a widow with little of earthly resources and cared for by her son-in-law. Yet she was human being and the results of sin were taking their toll on her body. His word rebuked the fever and restored her to health. The man in verse 33 was made fit for the sanctuary; Peter’s mother-in-law was now fit for service; the people in verses 40-41 would be made fit for society. He had come to begin the great work of undoing all that sin had brought into our world.
The Personal Touch
Was it because it was the Sabbath day (v 31) that the people had not come earlier? The Sabbath was ending and the sun was setting. It had been a busy day for the Lord. Why had they not come earlier? Why were they intruding on His rest? Most of us would have been annoyed that the people did not come earlier; their legalistic tendency perhaps forbad them from coming on the Sabbath. Now as the day ended they were all gathered to His door.
Not only was He not annoyed at them disturbing His solitude and rest, but He took a personal interest in each one of them. A general blessing would have healed every one of them. Instead, He “laid His hands on every one of them.” Each person had a personal touch from Christ!
How kind and gracious His heart and ways. Each human being is the special interest of Christ. That same personal interest was present on Calvary as well.
The Priority of His Life
The chapter highlighted the frown of people upon the Lord Jesus at Nazareth (ch 4:28-30). Undeterred, He continued to minister to people in kindness and grace. He was not moved by the fury of His foes.
In Capernaum He faced a different test: it was the test of the favor of His friends. The people wanted Him to remain and to continue to meet the need of the city. But above the demand of the people was the desire to be in His Father’s will. “I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also” (v 43) and He moved through the synagogues of Galilee. Neither the attacks of enemies nor the applause of well wishers controlled Him. Neither obvious need nor overt hostility influenced Him. He had said as a boy of 12 that He “must be about His Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). His “must” had not changed. Now, He must preach in other cities.