The Authority of the Believer

Luke 4:38-44

38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 

40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. 43 And he said unto them, -- I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. 44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.


After being cast out (and almost killed) in His hometown of Nazareth, Jesus goes to Capernaum – another city in Galilee where he could be seen teaching the people each Sabbath day in the synagogue.

In the synagogue we see two areas of Jesus authority being revealed - authority in the Word of God and authority over demons.

The word for “Authority” in the Greek – Exousia means capability, ability, mastery and having delegated influence with jurisdiction, liberty and power to exert that influence implied.

In the above section, we now get to see the third dimension of Jesus authority – authority over sickness.

V38: Returning to Peter’s home that Friday evening after such a joyous and miraculous service, Peter was confronted with a situation in which his mother was taken ill with a high fever. Many times, we have such joy and seasons of refreshment in the Lord’s presence and often find ourselves dismayed when we get back to our home or workplace to find it in a state of disarray. 

V39: Take heart – follow the pattern that Jesus shows us here and rebuke the enemy. If Jesus is with you and you are a child of God operating in His authority, you will quickly find victory over the designs of the tormentor and not lose any time over it!

In the second part of this verse we also see Peter’s mother rising up and immediately serving the Lord, as soon as the Fever left her. Oh! How blessed we would be to realize that the reason for the healing and deliverance we so often experience is not so that we can laze away on the couch, but to rise and be about our Father’s business!

V40: After a long day, followed by an evening Sabbath day service, and then having dealt with the high Fever that had take ahold of Peter’s mother, Jesus now sees a sea of people outside Peter’s front door. Indeed, people had come from diverse corners of Capernaum to listen and be delivered of their sicknesses. 

We see here that Jesus was never too busy for people and His heart went out to those who came earnestly seeking His face. Jesus proceeds to lay his hands on and heal everyone who came that day. 

Sometimes, being available for the Lord could mean that you are called to minister at unexpected or inconvenient times or when you yourself may not be feeling too good.  However, as life has taught me, when we let go and let God, we will invariably see with amazement how the Lord uses us in spite of our weaknesses. The best part – we who were grumpy and sad return with our cup overflowing when we give out and bless someone else in whatever way the Lord allows us to!

V41: Jesus does not permit the demons to testify who He is, because Jesus did not come to receive testimony from demons! Jesus also probably foreknew that the day was not too far away when the Pharisees and scribes would accuse him of casting demons out by the chief of demons Beelzebub who was in him and thus wisely restrained demons from testifying about him in this manner.

V42: We see from Mk 1:35 that refers to this same incident, reveals that Jesus rose up early in the morning while it was still dark and went to a desolate place to commune and Pray to the Father.

Herein lies a great secret – the reason for the Exousia Authority Jesus had was his relationship with the Father and his Knowledge of the Word. Precisely the two areas where the enemy tries to divert our focus and attention from. Oh! How blessed we would be to prioritize these things over and above everything else in our lives!

V43: While the people found Jesus in the desolate place and insisted He spend more time with them, Jesus responds with a clarity that I so often find lacking in my own life – “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent”

Do you know what you must do? Or are you like the rest of humanity stuck on doing what you want to do or things that you feel cannot do?

Do you exercise the authority God has given you?  If not, we are missing out on a great dimension of the victorious Christian life the Lord wishes us to have!