A Demon On The Sabbath (Luke 4:31-37) Jesus displayed power over a demon in the synagogue. The synagogue here is their version of church. It’s much more relevant to us today than we suspect. Jesus proved he could overpower the devil for himself in his personal temptations by the devil, but can Jesus overpower the devil for others – you and me, for your spouse, for your children, etc.? Have you ever thought you, your spouse, or child was “demon possessed?”


A Demon On The Sabbath (Luke 4:31-37)

by Pastor Delbert Young


Sermon video

A Demon On The Sabbath – Luke 4:31-37

Scriptures: 1 John 5:19; Colossians 1:13; Luke 4:31-34; 2 Corinthians 11:14; James 2:19; Colossians 1:27; Luke 4:35-37

The purpose of the Bible is not to provide us history, though it does. The purpose of the Bible is to prove Jesus of Nazareth was indeed Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, and God himself. Until this point Luke’s been talking about the “Person” of Jesus Christ – his personal forerunner John the Baptizer, his announced coming by an angel, his being miraculously conceived, his dedication at the temple, his knowledge as a boy, his obedience to his parents, his baptism, the Holy Spirit coming upon him, acknowledgment of who he is by Father God, his lineage through David, his temptation, and his message. It’s been about his person. At this point, Luke begins talking about his “Power” – his power over demons, his power over sickness, his power over disease, his power over nature, his power over religious teachers, etc. Luke proved Jesus is the Messiah shown in his “Person.” Luke now proves Jesus is the Messiah shown by his “Power.”

Today I want to talk to you about Jesus’ power over a demon in the synagogue. The synagogue here is their version of church. It’s much more relevant to us today than we suspect. Jesus proved he could overpower the devil for himself in his personal temptations by the devil, but can Jesus overpower the devil for others – you and me, for your spouse, for your children, etc? Have you ever thought you, your spouse, or child was “demon possessed?”

Luke 4:31-37 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.  They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.  In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice,  “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are —  the Holy One of God!”  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.  All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”  And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. 

There are demons and demonic activity in churches today, but that’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. What better place is there for people to receive deliverance?

The man we read about today that was demon possessed was someone’s child and likely someone’s spouse or father. Seriously, there could be activity of darkness going on in your family and you need to be capable of recognizing it.

Let’s reason a minute. If Jesus is to save sinners, he will need to use force to violently take sinners from the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of darkness refuses to simply let us go.

1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that THE WHOLE WORLD IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE EVIL ONE.

All of humanity – the whole world – is in the grip and controlled by the evil force. Every person was or is held under the control of the evil one. Those not coming to Jesus will remain there for eternity burning in hell. For others of us there is a battle of deliverance going on between Jesus and the evil one. Does Jesus have power to deliver you?

Colossians 1:13  Who hath DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Let’s make sure we get this. Every Christ follower has gone through a deliverance service. In fact, you are still going through it as you continue to be delivered. The term “deliverance” has gotten a bad rap. We associate deliverance as a bad thing and something connected with demons. However, going through deliverance is a good thing! It means I am being translated, rescued from the power of darkness, i.e. demons and the devil and brought to God. What’s bad about that?

Do I mean we were all possessed by demons? That may be true for some of us, maybe. I might have been. Some of us were for sure, but all of US were under the control of the evil one and the power of darkness. You can simply look at the world and see the power of the evil one, how far you’ve come, but how you continue to need deliverance from some things.

As we will see today, people even in church can remain under the evil one’s power. Divisive activity centering on a person even in church can point to a demonic presence. You need to be aware of this. If you go to church, you have encountered a demon in the synagogue.

Luke 4:31-34 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the sabbath began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching, BECA– USE HIS MESSAGE HAD AUTHORITYIN THE SYNAGOGUE there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Ha! What do you want with US, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy US? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!”

Capernaum is/was down from Nazareth (Nazareth is 1300 feet above sea level. Capernaum over 600 feet below sea level). While we are looking at the passage, let’s make sure we get it. ONE OF THEIR OWN MEMBERS, a worshiper, and supposed believer was possessed by a demon that talked through the man. How did they figure out it was a demon? By what it said. The demon not only uncovered itself by talking, it uncovered the fact there were other demons there. It said, “Ha! What do you want with US… Have you come to destroy US?”Demons always buddy up (Luk 11:26). When one’s talking, watch and listen. There’s seven more even “more wicked.”

There are demons in church? Think about it. A demon would prefer to disguise itself as a religious person rather than a nonreligious person.

2 Corinthians 11:14  But I am not surprised! Even Satan can DISGUISE HIMSELF as an angel of light. (NLT)

What is a “religious spirit” anyway? It’s an evil spirit in a person trying to disguise itself and be religious, right?

In the middle of Jesus teaching, the demon screamed out, “Ha! What do you want with us,Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!” It could not restrain itself. People under the influence of demonic activity cannot restrain themselves. It’s impossible. They’ve got to say their piece. They’ve got to get their “jab.” This shows the lack of true repentance or Godly sorrow. Oh, they disguise repentance, but there is always that justification “jab.”

The Greek word for Ha! is ?a t? and means an expression of fear, terror, or panic. They go into fear and terror when exposed and they start talking. Jesus’ teaching exposed the demon and it started talking coming back at Jesus. In its thinking, talking was its defense. In reality, talking only exposed it and other demons. Demons freak when exposed.

James 2:19 Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and They TREMBLE IN TERROR!

What makes demons tremble in terror? People are afraid of demons, but in reality it’s the demons that tremble in terror. You have no need to fear a demon. Demons live/exist in constant terror of you. Why?

Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory

Demons fear the Christ in you and you exposing them. When you show up preaching the gospel, demons tremble. Jesus was in the middle of preaching and teaching the word of God with authority when the demon cried out talking. It’s when it seems I am doing my best preaching and teaching a demon(s) shows up. I asked earlier what caused demons to tremble in terror. It’s preaching the word of God with authority. It exposes demonic activity because they start talking.

(KJV) Luke 4:33-34 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an UNCLEAN DEVIL, and cried out with a loud voice, SAYING, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

It’s interesting the first actual display of miraculous power Luke tells us about is delivering a man from a demon in church. It says “a spirit of an unclean devil.” Is there any other kind?Unclean is the Greek word akathartos {ak-ath’-ar-tos} – kathartos means clean. The “a” is a negative particle making akathartos the opposite of clean, i.e. filthy. It’s filthy to God. It’s evil to people. This was in their service controlling that member of that church.

Have you ever seen a demon manifest? I know some of you have. It’s happened to me while preaching. Have you ever been to church someplace and felt the preacher was preaching straight at you? I have. That’s how this demonic man felt. “Ha! What do you want with us…?

Satan plants demonic activity within a church to create confusion, undermine it, divide it, and ravage it. These people are always, blond headed, brown headed, black headed, red headed, white headed, or bald. They are always male or female. Point being, looking at them, they look exactly like everyone else, but are implants by Satan that have taken over a member in church. If Satan can undermine, bring confusion, cause discord, and get you thinking and talking about hypocrites rather than God, he’s successful. Let me tell you, I’d rather have hypocrites in church than demons. I can help a hypocrite, but I can’t always fix the damage a demon dose to people’s faith. If the devil can use someone to get you thinking negative and focusing on the bad, it’s successful.

The demon exposed itself by talking. Let’s make certain we see what we need to see. The demon talking is a good thing, not a bad thing, when people recognize what it is. Talking is how they expose themselves. They will talk about me or leadership in a negative unclean, evil way. Or, they will talk about all the hypocrites. Or, they will talk to other people about you. They talk about the negative, not the positive.

Satan desires to subtly undermine a church. That’s what the serpent did to Adam and Eve concerning God. “I can’t believe he said that to you. You can’t believe him. If he was good and cared, he would let you eat the fruit from that tree. He doesn’t care about you.” Demons don’t want to help. They undermine and damage as much and as many as they can. They want people to join ranks with them. “Let’s talk about something negative, unclean, filthy and degrading.”

When we suspect demonic activity around here, we go into action. It’s discussed among leadership. We surround it and “listen in” to what it is saying because it always exposes itself by talking.

Can a Christian have a demon? Can a demon have a Christian? To me, that’s a mute point. I go back to the thought of deliverance. Jesus gave an example of a man totally cleaned up and delivered (Luk 11:24-26). After his deliverance, he was repossessed by eight demons. Also, from some things we are delivered easily. Other things require more deliverance and some things we wish someone could cast it out.

This man possessed with a demon was probably a good man. He was in church, maybe a leader in the synagogue, maybe served the people, maybe a husband and dad, certainly someone’s son. He simply needed deliverance. Where does it say in the Bible a Christian can’t have a demon? I know I’m different than most on this, but I’ve been around some strange Christians who, had I not known they said they were Christ followers, I would rather think they were demonically motivated. You have too. I see deliverance more a process. I would hate to tell someone who had a demon they couldn’t have a demon than tell them they could have a demon and help them receive deliverance. I know this. Jesus never questioned the man’s belief. Jesus simply sent the demon away. The demon left. The man stayed.

Talking about demons makes some feel uncomfortable. “Delbert, why do you want to talk about demons?” Believe me, I don’t. God does. You can ask Judy. I hate to give demons any place or attention, but God put this in the Bible for us to learn. God wants us to be aware that demons come to church and not just this church, every church, even the churches Jesus attended.

Some deny demons exist. Those suffer from “chronological evolution disorder.” That’s when a person thinks people “back then” were primitive and didn’t understand mental and bio disorders. These people believe they are highly intelligent. They must be more intelligent than Jesus. I say, yes, there are disorders, but when medication and counseling do not correct the situation, what is it then?

Clenton Arnold said, “…a servant of Christ can no more avoid demons than a gardener can avoid weeds.”  If you’ve ever had a garden, vegetable or flower, you’ve encountered weeds. I don’t only believe demons are unavoidable if you’re a “servant of Christ.” Demons are unavoidable period! A servant of God is just expected to recognize a demon and be a demon terrorist bringing deliverance. That’s what Jesus was and did.

Luke 4:35-37  “BE QUIET! Jesus said STERNLY. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and CAME OUT WITHOUT INJURING HIM. All the people were AMAZED and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With AUTHORITY AND POWER he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Jesus got stern with demons. Stop demons talking in church. Why did Jesus say, “Be quiet?” Wasn’t the demon’s acknowledgment of who Jesus was great publicity? The last thing God or Jesus wants is publicity from demons. Judy and I were talking about this. I enjoy a compliment as much as anyone, but there have been times when a person would shower me with flattery. Within a short time it seemed a demon would come out of that same person and attack. Jesus wanted no testimonies from demons.

There was no binding or loosing, no incantations, no exorcism, no yelling, vomiting, or spitting. “SHUT UP AND GET OUT!” The demon acted like a spoiled brat. It slammed the person. That’s what demons do. They slam people and pick on easy targets, but if handled correctly, no one is injured and deliverance happens. The demon left and the man stayed.

All the people were amazedAmazed is thambos {tham’-bos} meaning to render immovable. Everyone was frozen in their seats when that happened. That’s pretty much what happens when a demon shows up in church. People don’t know what to do so they freeze. I hope now you know. You are the terrorist, not the demon. Jesus dealt with the demon and the man was delivered.

Other Related Sermons:

Easter Nonsense – sermon video audio notes

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Do not Rejoice About Success – video audio notes Luke 10:17-21

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young