I know, you expected this to be called, “What’s in a Name,” didn’t you? Well, we’ll get to that in a minute!
Luke 4 covers the wilderness temptation of Jesus. He was tempted by the devil for 40 days. We sometimes give in after three or four minutes! We’re not told what all of those temptations were during that time. We only know of the last three that came at the end of the 40 days. And what did Jesus use against Satan? The Word of God.
Words of Authority
We then read that he taught in the synagogues throughout Galilee, and finally ended up in his home town of Nazareth. He was in the synagogue on the Sabbath, and read the Word of God from Isaiah. His visit didn’t end well . . . so,
“Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority” (verses 31-32, NLT).
Not only did He read the Word of God and teach the Word of God, his own words were powerful and full of influence to everyone who heard him. And that’s not all!
“Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—cried out, shouting, ‘Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’ But Jesus reprimanded him. ‘Be quiet! Come out of the man,’ he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further” (verses 33-35).
His words alone dominated the spiritual realm.
“Amazed, the people exclaimed, ‘What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!’ (verse 36).
Later on the same day, He healed Simon’s mother-in-law with a word (verses 38-39), and that evening cast out demons on command.
“As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak” (verses 40-41).
His word overpowered the evil spirits’ words. His power and authority outmatched theirs.
Naming the Word
Are any bells ringing in your mind about what John writes about the Word?
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:1-5).
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14).
That very same Word was Jesus Christ, in the flesh.
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:15-16)
Should we be surprised that the very Word that created everything seen and unseen still held power and authority over all that He brought into being? I think not!
The Word Today
His Word still holds power over 2,000 years later!“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He hasn’t lost any authority over his creation. In fact, it seems that He’s got more of it now!
“When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:7-11).
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth'” (Matthew 28:18).
What is He doing with all of that power and authority right now? Here are just a few things:
- “He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together” (Colossians 1:17). Has the world spun out of orbit, or the sun gotten too hot or cold for us? Are the laws of physics and gravity still at work? How about thermodynamics? All of it is kept in order by the Word of God, Jesus Christ!
- “Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (Romans 8:34). How do you feel knowing that the One who created all that we know about (and much more that we don’t) has you on his mind, and is praying to the Father on your behalf?
He is still at work in the lives of believers everywhere, through his Spirit. He still guides and provides, heals and delivers. He moves through dreams and visions, calling unbelievers to himself. He hasn’t given up any of his sovereignty!
Alpha and Omega
The Word was in the beginning, creating. Do you know that the Word is also mentioned at the end, in the book of Revelation?
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).
For those who are on the Lord’s side, this verse can be exhilarating. The One who holds all power and authority will fight for us, bringing a reign of righteousness! On the other hand, for those not on his side it sounds quite terrifying.
The Word has been working since before the beginning of the universe. He is the Lord and Master over all that exists. But when He created humans, he made them a little different from the rest. He gave them the will to choose obedience or rebellion.
Each one of us is still given the same choice. Will we show our love for our Creator through our obedience and submission (John 14:15)? Or will we decide that we’re strong enough to do everything without him, and go our own way?
We’ve been given the power to choose. Our choice will determine our future destiny.