Exorcism at the Synagogue in Capernaum
Mark 1:21 They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What [a]business do we have with each other, Jesus [b]of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.
Luke 4:31 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were amazed at His teaching, for His [a]message was with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man [b]possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Let us alone! [c]What business do we have with each other, Jesus [d]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 quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. 36 And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is [e]this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” 37 And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.
I’m going to discuss the passage through Mark because they are essentially the same.
Mark 1:21 They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach.
V21 — Know your purpose. Jesus knew His purpose here on earth and on the Sabbath went immediately to the synagogue to teach.
22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
V22 — Jesus’ teaching had authority. The Greek word used here is exousia, which is the authority that was granted to Jesus (“all authority in heaven and earth is given to me”), and by the same measure we are to submit to earthly authorities, and likewise, we have authority/liberty/freedom in Christ to do good.
I find this contrast between the Scribes and Jesus interesting because Christians have a similar authority for dunamis — ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work — as I talked about in God gives the force to everyone. That is to say that those who have faith will be able to move mountains.
This is one of the components of both masculinity and femininity to walk in faith without fear or doubt because God works His power through us with His Holy Spirit. So too are we to do everything as to the Lord with full measure of confidence that He will help us in all that we do. Strive for excellence.
23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What [a]business do we have with each other, Jesus [b]of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
V23-24 — I highly doubt that the man with the unclean spirit was there in the synagogue by accident. In most cases, those with unclean spirits were kept in the homes, they were locked up or in ostracized communities, or they lived off alone like the man with legion in him. Thus, we can ascertain that this was not a coincidence here. That is why this confrontation is intriguing.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.
V25-26 — Jesus confirms the authority of his teaching through signs and wonders.
27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
V23-27 — It seems to be that this confrontation was to back up the authority of Jesus’ teaching for those who were willing to listen. If you remember back to the Nicodemus, he says to Jesus coming to Him in the night,
John 3:2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [a]signs that You do unless God is with him.”
This is the difference between those that want to learn and those that don’t:
- Those that are looking for the truth see the authoritative teaching, and the signs and wonders only back up what the teacher is saying.
- In the Phariseical viewpoint, we see those that are set in their ways but recognize the power of the signs. But yet they don’t understand the authority within the teaching nor do they understand the teaching.
Because Nicodemus was operating from the Phariseical viewpoint, he was confounded when Jesus started talking about being born again even as one of the spiritual leaders in Israel. However, he was humble enough to come learn from Jesus and it ended up that he seems to have followed Him in the end.
This is the power of a new teaching with authority.
28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.
V28 — News spreads about good things. This is what Christians are to exemplify in their lives so as to be living sacrifices. Remember, it is in the difficult situations that you respond not like the world but like Christ that makes a huge impact on people. Be bold for Christ especially in difficult situations.
Parable of the Seed
Parable of the Seed
Mark 4:26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he immediately [a]puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
At first glance, this passage looks similar to the parable of the sower. But it is indeed a different parable altogether.
This parable seems to be writing about how we may not necessarily see how the kingdom of God is nurtured and grown as much of it may occur behind the scenes.
I’ve heard it said before that it takes on average at least 7-8 exposures of someone to the gospel before they come to Christ. If I’m one of the first people in that line of sharing the gospel with someone they may not seem receptive to the gospel and perhaps outright reject us, but the seed is sown and perhaps God will use it later down the road 5, 10, or even 20+ years.
I see a direct parallel here to who we are in Christ as well as to how we are to search for a wife.
Some days it may seem difficult to get out of bed to go to church, or to slog through the Scripture and to pray, or to fast and meditate on Scripture. There may even be ups and downs where it looks like the plant is not growing or even regressing. But over the long run there is going to be growth.
Likewise, planting the seeds now through this period of singleness with studying what the Scriptures have to say about godly masculinity may seem fruitless. However, as we grow day by day taking steps to become more out-going, building social skills, stepping into leadership positions, learning how to be considerate and not bitter, and many other details we learn more about it means to be a godly husband if we are proactive and can find the gift of a godly wife.
The conclusions for these passages about masculinity are straight forward:
- Know your purpose and execute it.
- Walk in confidence and faith in all that you do as we are more than conquerors through Christ. Speak and do with authority.
- There are no coincidences. I believe strongly in free will, but I do think that God gives us opportunities everyday to which we can choose to be responsible in the little things.
- As Jesus performed miracles, so we too are to use the power which He gave us to change others lives. This means directing focus away from yourself and learning how to build relationships with others. To see a need and meet it out of love.
- To be constantly willing to understand and adapt, but to test everything against Scripture. Once we harden our hearts we stop growing like the Pharisees, but if we understand that we don’t know everything there is a lot of room for growth.
- To be living sacrifices in all situations, so as to be a witness for the gospel. To be strong and courageous and bold without fear.
- To know that the kingdom of God does not operate on our timetable, but to be diligent in that which God has called us to do.