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Luke 4:40-41 meaning

Later that evening some people bring Jesus many who were demon-possessed. Jesus frees them from their spiritual bondage and commands the demons to be silent because they knew Him to be the Christ.

The parallel gospel accounts for this passage are Matthew 8:16-17, Mark 1:32-34.

While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; (v 40a).

When the sun was setting, people brought those who were sick with various diseases to Jesus. 

The seemingly innocuous phrase—while the sun was setting—is the Gospel writer's way to let us know that the Sabbath was over. Jewish days end at sunset. God commanded His people to rest from their labor on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The Sabbath laws that were taught by the Pharisees limited the amount of work the people could perform on the Sabbath. The day Jesus healed Simon's mother-in-law was the same day He cast out an unclean spirit while teaching in the Synagogue (Luke 4:31-39). This day was a Sabbath day (Luke 4:31).

The amazing news of Jesus's casting out of the unclean spirit spread very quickly throughout the district (Luke 4:37). Others may have heard about Simon's mother-in-law. So when evening came and the Sabbath was over, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus for healing

All three Gospel writers who report on this event comment on the fact that night had come as a way to express that the Sabbath was over (Matthew 8:16, Mark 1:32).

While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick showed up at Simon's house.

Mark's Gospel describes this scene with a bit more expressive detail: "the whole city had gathered at the door" (Mark 1:33). After Jesus healed the demon-possessed man in the synagogue earlier in Capernaum, "the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district" (Luke 4:37). The miraculous events from earlier in the day would have attracted quite the crowd seeking physical and spiritual healing. 

And as they brought their sick to Jesus, He was laying His hands on each one of them and He was healing them (v 40b).

Luke describes the manner in which Jesus was healing themHe was laying His hands on them, as a physician might lay hands on a patient. Mark clarifies that the any who were sick included both those who suffered from physical diseases and those who suffered from unclean spirits. 

Luke describes how Jesus cast out demons,

Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ (v 41).

These demons behaved much like the unclean spirit that was cast out of the man in the synagogue earlier that Sabbath day. That demon also identified Jesus as "the Holy One of God" (Luke 4:34). And Jesus also rebuked that unclean spirit to "keep quiet" as He cast it out of the man (Luke 4:35. This reveals that the demons rightly recognized Jesus and His authority even when men did not. But Jesus silenced them and refused to accept their true testimony about Him. The likely reason He rebuked them to be silent and not allow them to speak for Him was because He did not want people to wrongly conclude that they were working together. God and demons are absolute enemies. But God is infinitely stronger and will soon crush Satan underneath our feet (Romans 16:20).

Demons are evil supernatural beings who serve Satan. The world we inhabit is both physical and spiritual. There is an interconnectedness between these two dimensions. Both the physical and spiritual dimensions were created by God. The Bible affirms that both the physical world and spiritual world are real. The physical dimension is more tangible to our physical bodies and our physical senses. The physical can, in part, be quantified and measured by human art and science. But the supernatural world, though largely invisible to us, is no less real. As human beings who have both a body and a spirit, we have both a physical and a spiritual nature. Angels and demons (and God, until He came to earth as a Man at the birth of Jesus) only have a spiritual nature.

During this present age (between the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and the final defeat of Satan) the devil is the unlawful tyrant of the world who abuses his power to bring harm to those he hates, namely God's image bearers. 

The most common way that Satan achieves his malicious goals is convincing people to disobey God's good order and, like him, rebel. He tempts us to selfishly do as we please and take whatever we want from others through the abuses of force or fraud. Satan's kingdom is built on pride, envy, lust, and hatred. Satan desires that we behave as tyrants ourselves. This is the opposite of the mercy principle/golden rule ethic of Jesus's Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

But another way the devil harms people is through gaining strong influence over their minds or bodies. When this occurs, that person is demon-possessed. As God, Jesus has authority over all things—including demons. He cast out these unclean spirits with a word. Jesus had the power to restore people to physical health as well as spiritual wholeness. Luke shows us that Jesus had these powers as he retold the supernatural events of Chapter 4, beginning with Jesus casting out a demon, healing Simon's mother-in-law, and now as the sun is setting He is healing both physical and spiritual ills. 

The Gospels do not specify how many people were healed, but they do say that many were. Many people were healed. It was a full day of miracles as Jesus served the people of Capernaum and the surrounding district of Galilee.

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