“And they were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!’” (Luke 4:36)

Jesus spoke with authority in His home town of Nazareth but the people there did not respect or accept it or Him. In the neighboring towns of Galilee, it was a different story. The people who heard Him speak and preach were blessed as they acknowledged that Jesus had power.

Apparently the religious rulers in the synagogues and in the Temple in Jerusalem did not preach like Jesus. They often quoted other teachers and commentaries on the Torah as their source of authority and knowledge on what the scripture said. They expounded upon and elevated the authority of tradition and by so doing, set aside the word and will of God. They made the Law a great burden while neglecting spiritual realities as well as the Love of God.

Jesus, however, spoke with the authority of the Word Himself as well as the Love and compassion of God. His authority was confirmed by the miracles He performed. In particular, the people were impressed by the power He had over demons. He cast them out without fuss or difficulty. These mighty acts of deliverance were particularly impressive because no one had ever done such a thing before. The local rabbis, the priests and Pharisees who held religious authority in Jerusalem, these had no such authority. They could do nothing to free people from the power of sin and Satan.

Jesus came to free all mankind from bondage to sin and Satan. Jesus is still doing the same in our present day through His instrument the Church. He has given us His authority as His people. This authority is so needed no because many have forgotten the power of Satan while many more deny his existence. These poor folks do not know that they are in bondage to him. It is the call of every believer to share with them the love and freedom found only by faith in Jesus and what He has done.