Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Gospel of Mark, Part 6 - Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit

And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
Mark 1:21-28
In our last study in The Gospel of Mark we saw that Jesus had called His first four disciples, and as we come to this passage today we see that immediately they accompanied Him to Capernaum where on the Sabbath day he entered the synagogue and began to teach. And we are told here that those who heard Jesus teach were astonished by what they heard because "He taught as one who had authority" not like the teachers that they were used to hearing. John MacArthur writes:

Jesus’ authoritative teaching, as the spoken Word of God, was in sharp contrast to that of the scribes, who based their authority largely on that of other rabbis. Jesus’ direct, personal, and forceful teaching was so foreign to their experience that those who heard Him were “astonished." And it is into this astonished crowed that now walks a man who is described here as having an unclean spirit. In other words this man was demon possessed.
It appears from the way the text reads that this man walked into the  synagogue, went straight up to Jesus, and immediately confronted Him, saying, "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."

Isn't it interesting that the people in the synagogue - people who were there to worship God -  didn't recognize who Jesus was, but a demon did? And isn't is also interesting that here we find a demon being more of a witness for Christ than most Christians are? (When was the last time you stood in a crowd of people and said that Jesus Christ is the Holy One of God?)

Yes, the devils know who Jesus is; they all believe in Him and the tremble (James 2:19) ,and as we see in here in verses 26-27 they also obey Him when He commands them to do something. I don't know about you, but I cannot honestly say that I have always been obedient in everything that God has commanded in His word, which  convicts me and shows me my wretched sinfulness and makes me even more grateful for the mercy and grace of God that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So Jesus commands the spirit to come out of the man and it does. And again all of the people are astonished. And what happens next? Verse 28 tells us that Jesus' fame spread everywhere throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. Why did Jesus' fame spread? It was because those who had encountered Him told everyone they knew what they had experienced.

We may not have had the experience of seeing a demon being cast out or of some other extraordinary event taking place, but if you are a Christian something just as amazing has happened to You. The God of the universe has washed you in the blood of his Son and has forgiven you of all of Your sins! That is something that people need to hear, so I encourage you to take some time today and tell someone you know what Jesus has done in your life.

And as we conclude this section of the Gospel of Mark I leave you with this quote from Bishop Ryle: 

The mere belief of the facts and doctrines of Christianity will never save our souls. Such belief is no better than the belief of devils. They all believe and know that Jesus is the Christ. They believe that he will one day judge the world, and cast them down to endless torment in hell. It is a solemn and sorrowful thought, that on these points some professing Christians have even lass faith than the devil. There are some who doubt the reality of hell and the eternality of punishment. Such doubts as these find no place except in the hearts of self-willed men and women. There is no infidelity among devils. "They believe and tremble."

J.C. Ryle

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Mark said...

Jesus considers everybody as the same. There is no partiallity

Michael Lantz said...

I agree with you that the deamons feared Christ more than some Christian.That is because some Christians believe that they can still live in sin and go to heaven,but that is simply not true.Jesus is God,and he is not partial.