Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jesus is Impressive and Preaches with Power

            Scripture: Mark 1.14-28
Translation: 14After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee preaching God’s Good News, 15namely by saying that “The time is fulfilled and God’s Kingdom is nearby: Change your minds and trust in the Good News!”

16And while passing by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew Simon’s brother throwing fishnets in the sea, because they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them: “Come on after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men! 18And immediately leaving the fishnets, they followed Him. 19And going ahead a little bit, He saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother and them in the boat getting the fishnets ready. 20And immediately He yelled out to them. And leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the employees, they came out after Him.

21And they traveled into Capernaum. And then on the Sabbaths after coming into the Synagogue He taught. 22And they were consistently impressed because of His teaching, because He was teaching them like someone who had authority and not like the scribes. And immediately a man with an unclean spirit was in the their synagogue and he yelled 24saying: “What’s the deal for us and for You, Nazarene Jesus? Did you come to destroy us? I know You, Who You are! God’s Holy One!” 25And Jesus rebuked him by saying: “Be quiet and come out of him!” 26And after the unclean spirit sent him into convulsions and screamed with a loud voice, it came out of him. 27And absolutely all of the people were amazed, so that they discussing with themselves by saying: “What is this?! New teaching according to authority?!” and “He commands the unclean spirits and they obey Him!” 28And the report about Him went out immediately everywhere into the whole surrounding region around Galilee!
Passage Summary: Jesus starts His ministry by preaching the Gospel, calling four fishmen to fish for men with Him, teaching the synagogue, and by casting a demon out of a man, illustrating that He has the Spirit, that He is the One John prophesied, and that He has a powerful message from God: He is not like anyone else.
The Point I’m Stressing: Jesus is the One John Prophesied about, He has the Holy Spirit, He preaches the Gospel of changing one’s mind and trusting the Good News, He is worthy of being followed, He has authority to teach, and He is the boss of demons. Therefore, we should believe His message and change our minds, we should leave everything and follow Him, we should be impressed and amazed, we should rely on Him to deal with demons
1.      We have heard that Jesus has a message with authority, we have seen this Jesus be able to call people away from their work and families, we have seen this Jesus is able to change the direction of people’s lives, we have seen He really has the Holy Spirit and that He is the One John the Baptist was talking about, we have even seen demons, Jesus’ powerful arch-enemies obey Him, so that leaves one question for us: Will we? Indeed, if even the demons obey His command, we shouldn’t we? Are you more self-deceived and arrogant than demons? I hope not, but if you reject obedience to Christ, you are!
2.      The passage starts by telling us that Jesus is preaching God’s Good News and as part of that issuing God’s command: Change your minds and believe the Message! In this Passage we Jesus issue commands to men, and they listen, commands to demons and they listen, but while you may not realize it, He is still issuing commands and those commands are coming to us, to you, to me, and the question remains, will you listen, will I listen, will we listen?
3.      We have seen how the people in Jesus day reacted to His teaching and His doing: they were impressed and amazed, they could tell something was different! But how are we reacting? Are you impressed, are you amazed, can you see that something is different about this Jesus? If you can’t, the problem is not with the Bible, or with Jesus, it’s with you, and me, and us, if you can’t see it, and I can’t see it, and we as a community can’t see it, but of course seeing it means more than just mentally understanding the concepts, it means that we feel impressed, we feel amazed, we feel the differentness of Jesus, but that leaves the question: Do you, do I, do we?
4.      Moreover, Jesus’ command is to change our minds, that means change how we think, feel, and act, to have a change of heart, but His command is also to trust His Good News from God, this means we trust what God has to say not only about the Good News, but about how we should be thinking, feeling, and acting, and making His ways our ways, and making the Good News from God Good News for us from God!

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