January 4th, 2022 – Luke 4:43

Verse of the Day Devotion  Luke 4:43  But He said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.  

I am going to start 2022 by looking at verses that are specific quotes of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we will look at Jesus teaching in Capernaum, a city in Galilee, on the Sabbath.  “And there was a man in the synagogue possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, Ha! What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” Luke 4:33-34. These demons feared Jesus, who then dealt with them. “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him without doing him any harm.” Luke 4:35. As you read on from verses 38-41 We see Him in the home of Simon Peter teaching and healing the people, including Peter’s mother-in-law, while also casting out demons from many who were there.  The demons knew who He was, for they would cry out “You are the Son of God! And rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.” Luke 4:41.

Now, when the next morning came, Jesus went to a place to be alone.  In Mark’s gospel, we see He specifically went out to pray. “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place and was praying there.” Mark 1:35. Now when the people saw He was not there, they went out to look for Him.  When they found Him, they did all they could to keep Him there. “and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away from them.” Luke 4:42b.  The word ‘keep’ in verse 42 is the Greek word ‘katecho’ which has the idea to hold down; to detain or retain something, keeping it from going away. They, in essence wanted to keep Him with them rather than letting Him go to different places to teach.  However, even Capernaum’s desire to “be fed by” Jesus, as we say today, is self-serving and thus an overture of self-will over God’s will.

However, Jesus responds in our focus verse by clarifying the reason for His coming. “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:43.  He was saying to them He was not sent just to the people in Capernaum but to other cities as well. He was sent to bring this message to the Jews. The message was regarding the kingdom of God.  We see this message given earlier while He was in Nazareth. He quotes here from Isaiah, from the scroll of the Prophet.  This was given to Him to read, and it declares his purpose for being here. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19. 

This is the message He was given to present to Israel, and then for the disciples to present, and ultimately for us to share.  The central message of John the Baptist was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Luke 3:1-3.  But Jesus’ central message is the good news of the kingdom of God. And this kingdom will be an eternal one.  “You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The LORD will reign forever and ever.” Exodus 15:17-18.

In closing, Jesus came in order to proclaim the Kingdom of God.  He Himself made this clear when the people tried to keep Him with them, however, He declared in our focus verse, “But He said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:43. He was sent to declare a new kingdom was coming, one that will be far superior to any kingdom we have today, one that will replace all kingdoms we have today, a kingdom which will last forever.  And all those who accept the message as truth and live by it, will be residents of this kingdom for all eternity.  What an incredible message he came to proclaim.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

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