III. The Authority of Jesus to Heal (vv. 29-39)
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
The most important aspect of Jesus’ authority is in the spiritual realm. However Jesus’ authority is not limited to the spiritual realm. Vv. 29-35 make it clear that Jesus has the authority to heal physical problems. After the encounter with the demon in the synagogue Jesus and His disciples went back to Simon’s house. There Simon’s mother was very ill. Dr. Luke described this fever she had as a “high fever.” (Luke 4:38). This would have been life threatening, and a great cause for concern. However, Jesus had the authority to heal her simply by the touch of His hand.
Word spread quickly about this Jesus, and as soon as the Sabbath was over the whole town came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus again silenced the demons because they were adding to the hysteria (Luke 4:41). It is important to note that none of these people seemed the least bit concerned with Jesus’ message. No one was showing up to “repent and believe” (1:15). They were only interested in what Jesus could do for their physical situation. Jesus of course healed many, and thus displayed that He has the authority to take care of our physical situation. But there is an important less here for us. We should not be like these people who were concerned only for their physical situation. Instead, we should trust in Jesus’ power to take care of us and concern ourselves with the spiritual truths of Jesus’ teaching.