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Daily Bible Verses | Jesus Teaches And Heals In The Synagogue Of Capernaum | The Sabbath | Jesus The Son, Holy One Of God, Has Authority | Exorcism Of An Unclean Spirit | Audio KJV

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Christian Art | Jesus Teaches And Heals In The Synagogue Of Capernaum

Mark 1: 21-28 – Week 1 Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

Right at the start of Jesus’ ministry, Mark tells us of the fundamental difference between Jesus and other religious teachers. As we listen to these verses, we are struck by the presence of a Christ who is not, as so many in our modern age like to think, only a fine moral teacher, or a wise man with some fascinating spiritual insights to offer us. When Jesus talks about the Scriptures, when he teaches the people about God, he speaks not as the scribes but with authority, and he has that authority because he knows the Father intimately and he is the Son. As the Son, he doesn’t just explain Scripture; it is his right, he has this authority, to change, to add to, to subtract from, to reinterpret what was already received as the word of God.

The people are astonished at what they hear. We need to get close to this thought. In the way that he teaches, right at the start, Jesus is already setting out to overhaul Judaism. Jesus comes in from left field and turns accustomed understandings, known categories, time-honoured ways of doing things on their heads. This must have been utterly arresting for the people to witness and to be a part of. For the religious authorities, it is precisely this way of teaching and the claims Jesus makes that are the outrage that will lead to their wanting to kill him. As for the people, they are compelled at once to spread the fame of Jesus throughout the region of Galilee.

What we do not have, then, in the person of Jesus, is a meek and mild hippy preaching wishy-washy anodyne comforts to passers-by. Jesus sets himself in the Synagogue, on the Sabbath, the day given to us by God so that we can spend our time exclusively centring ourselves on God, in worship, and there he takes centre stage – and there the wonder he ignites spreads like wildfire.

Jesus’ word is authority, then he heals with authority. The man with the unclean spirit isn’t supposed to be in the synagogue, presenting himself before God, because he is impure – it was a catch-22 that marginalized many people and that Jesus cuts right through. He heals the man, commanding the spirit with just a few simple, powerful words to come out of him – and Jesus’ words are powerful here not because they are big and complicated, or bound up in elaborate rituals of exorcism, or because he says them in a big booming voice; they are powerful just because it’s Jesus saying them, and he has authority.

Mark’s Gospel asks us, in our time, to know the incredible impact Jesus wants to have on our lives, to behold Jesus as the Holy One of God, and to hear his words and witness the healing miracles that Jesus wants to work on us. We know the demons that beset our lives, the lies that try to swamp us, addicting us to all the bad junk that wrecks us. When people have been deceived, here is freedom from slavery to sin and the devil, and the blessed relief as Christ drives those evils out and brings us home.

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. (Proverbs 3: 13-17)

Concluding Prayer

We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants, and always do what pleases him. Your lives will be fruitful in all kinds of good works, and you will grow in your knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious might, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. (Collosians 9-11.)

Let our worship give you glory, Lord,
who for our salvation looked upon
the lowliness of Mary your handmaid:
raise us up to share with her
the fulness of redemption.
We make our prayer thorugh our Lord.