Sunday, January 25, 2015

JESUS IN THE SYNAGOGUE on the SABBATH: SCS No. 35


Sunday, January 25, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 35

(We at Project Dream Again hope these sermonettes bring some measure of peace to your soul and maybe spark a thought you then share with someone else in your life.)

Scripture for Today:
Mark 1:21-28 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 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.


Sermon for Today:

Jesus taught in the synagogue because Jesus was a Jew.  Jesus was not a member of a local Christian Church in His hometown of Nazareth.  It is important to understand that the church did not start until the day Jesus ascended back into heaven or some say the Day of Pentecost.  The point being that while He was on earth Jesus interacted with the world as a Jew as well as the Son of God.

Some folks today take the fact Jesus was a Jew and that God’s chosen people of the Old Testament were the Jewish people to mean that America ought to support whatever Israel does.  You may remember that President Carter got in trouble when he suggested in one of his books that Israel was mistreating the Palestinians.  Right now the press is making a big hubbub  about the Speaker of the House inviting the Prime Minister of Israel to address Congress without consulting with the White House.  The church should be about taking the Gospel to the lost and not about the politics around the state of Israel.  

Some people use the casting out of the “unclean spirit” as an example of Jesus healing a person with mental illness. The scripture does not say the man had a mental health problem.  The scripture says he had an “unclean spirit” or the King James says “demon.”  Since people have a hard time believing in the devil and his angels (demons) they come up with junk explanations like the man was mentally ill.  The devil is real.  Evil is real.  When we have a mass murder in this country the media says mentally ill.  I say evil.

The unclean spirit or demon knew that Jesus was “the Holy One of God” a reference also found in John 6: 69.  If a spirit working for the devil knows Jesus was the Son of God, why do we have so much trouble believing that today?

The reason I like these verses of the Gospel of Mark is because it shows Jesus being Jesus. Teaching and healing.  Christians should be teaching and healing today.



Prayer for Today:

Father, May the Gospel story come so alive in us that Your Son comes alive to the world around each of us.  For we know You sent Him for all peoples and He gave His all that all of us might have life forevermore if only we find Him, the one and only Way.  It is in His name I pray. Amen.


© Ed Cooper, January 25, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
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