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And Jesus went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 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!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea. – Luke 4:31-37, 42-44 [ESV]
I’m pretty good at asking questions. That was true even back in my college days…before I got serious about studying and applying myself. I was actually considering a pre-med major and taking zoology. I had a good professor, but I just couldn’t remember all the terms, modalities, and manner in which certain characteristics show up in certain orders, classes, or families of animal life. As I was talking with my professor he allowed, “You ask good questions.” It still didn’t get me a good grade. But I ask good questions!
My question today is this: What does the reign and rule of God look like? Hint, hint. We see it here. It looks like Jesus in charge. It looks like evil stopped in its tracks. It looks like diseases rebuked and vanquished. It looks like demons put in their place. It looks like proper acknowledgement of Jesus’ true identity (no mockery here!). It looks awe-inspiring and truly astounding. It also looks like a place to which all kinds of people have been invited.
Jesus is obviously in charge here. He was obviously in charge when he rose from the dead. He was obviously in charge when he ascended into heaven. And when he returns he will be obviously in charge. Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. Every eye will see him – even those who put him to death (cf. Revelation 1:7). The rule and reign of God will be an experience of Jesus’ ultimate and uncompromised reign over all – together with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus heals diseases on this occasion. All kinds of diseases. What good news it is to know that all disease will be banished in the reign and rule of God! No covid. No cancer. No congenital defects. No Alzheimers. No ALS. No leukemia. No disease. Health. Perfected bodies. Physical wellness writ large.
People are amazed at Jesus’ teaching and healing. In the coming kingdom we will be continually amazed at the grace of God. We will rejoice in his glory. We will revel in his goodness. We will delight in his majesty. We will worship with our whole being. Without restraint. With fullness of joy. Relishing God’s love for us and all people.
And we will not be alone. Jesus will not just stay here in Capernaum and tend to these people here. He must go to other places so that more may hear of his reign and rule of grace. And just as he went on from there, ever since Jesus’ ascension, people have gone to far away places to tell them of Jesus’ grace and truth. People have gone to the highways and byways, and compelled others to come in. And just so we don’t miss it, in the very last book of the Bible, the very last chapter, and near the end of that chapter the invitation continues:
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. – Revelation 22:17
Jesus’ reign and rule is a glorious, inspiring, delightful place of grace, blessing, joy, and love. And you and I’ve been invited. Come, Lord Jesus! Bring me into the fullness of your reign and rule!