No Other Name // Part 5
Ready to take another walk with Jesus? Let’s follow Him to the Sea of Galilee – to the city of Capernaum.
Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did 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 in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
/// LUKE 4:31-37 (NKJV)
At Nazareth in Israel, you will find the beginning of something called, “The Jesus Trail”. It is a 40 mile walking trail from Nazareth to Capernaum. People walk this trail to commemorate the very trip we are talking about tonight. After being rejected in His hometown upon announcing His Messianic calling, Jesus leaves the hill country of Nazareth and goes down to the Sea of Galilee to the town of Capernaum. Capernaum in Jesus’ day was a fishing town of about 1,500 people. It was located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The town ended up becoming the center of Jesus’ ministry in the region. As was His custom, Jesus preached in the synagogues of Galilee and so, He taught in the synagogue of Capernaum.
The synagogue that you will visit in modern day Capernaum was built in the 4th or 5th century. It is composed of white stones. It stands out against the black basalt stones used to build the city. But, as you stand and look at the synagogue, you will see that it stands on a foundation of black basalt stones. This is the foundation of the synagogue of Jesus’ day. You may remember that the synagogue of Jesus’ day was built by a Roman centurion.
Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”
/// LUKE 7:1-5 (NKJV)
When Jesus enters the synagogue, immediately a ruckus started. A man was in the synagogue who had what the Bible calls, “an unclean demon”. There are things that are important to understand from this:
1. Not every house of God is controlled by God.
The demon said to Jesus, “Let us alone! We have nothing in common with You. If you exert Your way, it will destroy what we have!” It is important to know who is in control of the house in which you worship. Just because it carries Jesus’ name does not mean He is in charge.
2. Jesus’ entry exposes other agendas and authorities.
When Jesus entered the synagogue, His authority forced things that were not of Him to materialize. The same thing will happen today. When Jesus’ authority is enforced, other things vying for authority will manifest.
3. Jesus used His power and authority to cast out competing structures.
Jesus is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. Jesus’ authority is to be absolute. Anything else falls short of the true manifestation of the kingdom of God. Godly authority must be used to set the house of God in order under Jesus’ authority. Godly authority will use the power it has to set things right. Jesus silenced and evicted the competing spirit.
4. The change in authority structure was easily discernible.
When Jesus was controlling things, anointing was noticeable. The difference made the people in attendance astonished. The report about what was happening went throughout the region. People began to talk about the difference and inviting others to see it. Now, think about the audience. We are told that right after this occurrence, Jesus went to the house of a man named Peter. Think of who could have been in attendance that day: Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Philip were all from Bethsaida, a town very close to Capernaum. The name Bethsaida means, “house of fish”. It could have been a place where fish were taken to sell like Magdala. Matthew the tax collector was from Capernaum. Now, think of what is possible: From this one synagogue, as many as five or six apostles could have been called! What can happen when Jesus is in control of a house?
What can happen when those people hear His voice and respond?
- Luke 4:31-37 (NKJV)
- Luke 7:1-5 (NKJV)
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