Daily Archives: November 2, 2020
Romans 5:5-11 (NRSV)
5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Luke 4:31-37 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Demon
31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
“What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Luke 4:36)
“The word is mightier than the sword” is one way that we might describe today’s Gospel reading. When Jesus cast out an unclean spirit, the people were shocked that his words had such power. He didn’t physically battle the spirits or use any fancy curse or proclamation: just a simple command. It took him only a few seconds, and Satan was sent running while the audience looked on in amazement.
This story shows us just how powerful Jesus’ words are. And the fact that this story is preserved in the Bible emphasizes all the other words of Jesus that are collected in the Scriptures. Each and every one of them has power to cast out evil, to melt hearts, and to heal wounds. They are the words we read every time we pick up the Bible. They are the words we memorized when we were little children. These words are here for us, so let’s embrace them with open hearts!
It’s not uncommon that our time of personal prayer and Scripture reading touches our hearts. We gain new insights into God’s love, or we are moved to repentance or worship. But there’s another side to Jesus’ words: the power they have when we speak them to people and even more so when we live them out day after day. It’s the power to break the chains of those bound by sin and fear.
Isn’t Jesus wonderful? He didn’t just come and speak his truths to us once and then expect us to grasp them automatically and live them out. He filled his words with divine grace and power so that no matter how many times we pray about them or obey them, we find more and more grace flowing from us and touching other people’s lives.
Truly, his words never come back to him void!
Lord, thank you for speaking your word to me. Thank you for the power of your word to change lives. Amen.