2019-09-01 – Mark 1.21-45 – Power of Christ Revealed
Bible Text: Mark 1.21-45 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2019-09-01 – Mark 1.21-45 – Power of Christ Revealed
(QCABA Annual Picnic 7 Sep 11am, Fall Festival Plans?)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Last week we saw the definition of being called-out in the first paragraphs in the Book of Mark. Jesus was called-out by God and then satan, and Jesus called-out the Jewish people to repent, and He called-out the Apostles into His mission to share the Good News. We concluded with the understanding that we as Christ followers are also called-out into His service as well.
When I was young, I remember a super-hero that for some reason is not mentioned any longer. I used to wake up on Saturday mornings and turn on the television and watch this super-strong and good and courageous hero. Anyone know who it is? Heman. When he got into a jam, he would stick up his battle sword and yell “I Have the Power!”
Today we are going to see the Power of Christ Revealed. Speaking of power J
(Show the Maverick Emblem) My first car was a 1973 Ford Maverick. It had a 302 small block V8 engine and it weighed in at about 2500 pounds. It had a lot of power for a little car. Question: What is your favorite dream car? Mine would be a 1968 Firebird. For me that marked the beginning of what is known as a true muscle car. Even today, I just love to hear and feel the power of a big engine. It may not be efficient or cost effective but it sure is something to see those muscle cars in action.
Today we are going to see some amazing power come to life out of what might have looked like an ordinary Jewish young man. So hold on to your hats and..
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 1:21. Pew Bibles pg 887 in God’s Inspired, Infallible and Living Word, and let us start with Prayer.
In this first act, we find ourselves in the town of Capernaum. I have a slide here that depicts some of the details about that fair city. It is located on the north side of the Sea of Galilee which is in the northern part of Israel.
I had the opportunity to visit this small city a few months back. It was so cool to step into Jesus’s story line and feel His presence in a small way. In our first verses today, Mark wrote:
21 They went into Capernaum, and right away he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. 22 They were astonished at his teaching because he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not like the scribes.
23 Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out,
24 “What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 Jesus rebuked him saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit threw him into convulsions, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him.
27 They were all amazed, and so they began to ask each other: “What is this?
A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” 28 At once the news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee.
Last week we read where Jesus had selected His first Apostles and John the Baptist was arrested. Matthews’s account of all this says: “When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. This move completed Isaiah’s prophesy” written hundreds of years earlier. Jesus was now where He was supposed to be and He chose to display His power as Messiah in this Jewish synagogue. The next 24 hours or so will catapult Jesus into the limelight for all to see. The congregation at Capernaum listens to Jesus’ teaching, responds with astonishment and acknowledges His obvious superior authority, even over that of their scribes. According to Hebrew tradition, scribes are scholars of the Bible who interpret it to the people and apply it to their lives. Jesus was quickly recognized as being superior to the scribes. And thus, the intellectual Power of Christ was Revealed.
Notice also that Jesus is recognized by even the demons within a man who also acknowledge that Jesus has the power to destroy them and that He was the “Holy one”. It is one thing when a friend or bystander stands up to be a witness for you, but it is totally a step-up when your enemy’s, demons in this case, acknowledge and witness to your person and character. Immediately Jesus takes charge of the demons and casts them out in front of the crowd. How would you have liked to be there to witness God in the flesh doing such things? Jesus went there to proclaim Himself as the Messiah Savior that they were waiting for, and what an amazing demonstration of the Power of Christ Revealed they saw as a result. This verse here also shows clearly that demons existed then, and they exist today as well. Our Bible tells us that angels are walking amongst us, and based upon this we also know that people are sometimes possessed by demons.
Our His-story lesson continues at verse 29:
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went into Simon and Andrew’s house
with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 So he went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they brought to him all those who were sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town was assembled at the door,
34 and he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
When I was in Capernaum a few months back and I saw the synagogue in all its grandeur. Right adjacent to it was the spot where they believe Simon/Peter’s house was. Verse 29 says here that they immediately went from the synagogue to Peter’s house, indicating it was very close indeed. The fact that Peter’s mother-in-law was the one that was sick, puts to rest the idea that the Apostles were single, as it is obvious they were not. That should cause us to realize the importance and the costs of doing ministry. The Apostles really sacrificed as they were carrying out the Great Commission and spreading the Gospel to the nations.
The fact that Jesus not only expelled demons, but was also an amazing healer surely got a lot of attention. Notice how quickly she went to being deathly sick to serving them food even. He not only healed her but gave her remarkable energy apparently. The people were amazed and they went and gathered their sick to be healed also. I think that would be a natural response to seeing such a miracle worker. I have seen people get healed, but never with such impact and authority. Jesus was God in the flesh indeed and He started His ministry out in a huge way.
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.36 Simon and his companions searched for him, 37 and when they found him they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”
Notice that Jesus went out to a deserted place to pray. It was before even sunrise and it was intentional. Jesus was alone and He was praying. He knew He had a lot on His plate ahead. He was standing up a new ministry that would change the world, and He needed to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in doing so. We need to take note here. So many times in our lives it seems we are just overwhelmed with activity, overwhelmed with life’s burdens. In the last few days I have met and talked to many people. Several of them said they didn’t have time for church. And I would argue that is exactly why they should be in church.
And let me plead with you, endeavor to make God your first priority, not only when it is convenient or when you have extra time. Do not to forsake spending time with God, especially in times of struggle and stress. Like Jesus demonstrated in these verses, find yourself a deserted place in the middle of the chaos and pray. Allow God to come along side you in your daily struggles and let the Holy Spirit fill you up for the challenges ahead. Amen?
39 He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40 Then a man with leprosy came to him and, on his knees, begged him: “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched him. “I am willing,” he told him. “Be made clean.” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 Then he sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Yet he went out and began to proclaim it widely and to spread the news, with the result that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. But he was out in deserted places, and they came to him from everywhere.
Leprosy is a horrible disease that even today thousands each year are diagnosed with. Otherwise known as Hansen’s disease today, it can be cured with multiple different types treatments. However in Jesus’ day, it was thought to be uncurable and infected people were segregated so to keep it from possibly spreading. Since Leprosy affects the nerves, loss of feeling or sensation can occur. Then injuries such as scrapes and burns may go unnoticed and get infected. Advanced leprosy can include: Paralysis and crippling of hands and feet, shortening of toes and fingers, chronic ulcers, blindness, loss of eyebrows and nose disfigurement.
Jesus touched the man and healed the man’s leprosy, but then told him to go to the priest as is what the Law demanded. Even then the priest didn’t ever touch the people, he only inspected their condition and declared them unclean or clean. But Jesus had compassion for this man’s problems, and Jesus has compassion for your problems today too.
Jesus told the man not to tell anyone, I would bet it was because the crowds were getting too big to manage. However I am sure it was too much for the man to contain himself. Imagine if you were on effectively on death row, and then miraculously healed. I know I probably couldn’t help but to tell my family and friends. I would probably be posting on Facebook and Instagram, shouting from the rooftops, “I have been healed”, and its time to celebrate. Praise the Lord J
So in our Bible verses today, Jesus healed the first man from being demon possessed; then Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law; and then He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many other demons.
Jesus healed them because he cared for them, He showed His love for them. There is no record of Jesus ever turning anyone away who asked for his help.
The Power of Christ was Revealed in a big way there in Capernaum. Effectively these amazing and miraculous events were what marked the starting of His ministry and He was spreading the Good News Gospel in a very real and physical way. Jesus was proving to them and now us today, that He is the Great Physician, and He is the true Savior Messiah that they were all waiting for.
Jesus knew that by meeting a physical need, loving them and healing them,
the door would be open for Him to speak to them about even a greater purpose and mission—to bring eternal salvation to their souls. We see the same pattern throughout Jesus’ ministry. He would heal somebody then use that interaction to present truth to them. He would feed them then tell them about Heaven. He would wash their feet so they would consider humbling themselves for ministry.
We need to be doing the same brothers and sisters. We need to be following the pattern of Jesus in this ministry here in Orion that He has blessed us with now. How can we step-up and help people, feed people, and love on people, so that they would consider hearing the truth about the Good News Gospel of Jesus?
Within each of us is the Power of Christ Revealed; that is even what got you in this church here today. The Holy Spirit is working in your lives, and like Jesus we should be going into our deserted place, praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us up to the point that His Spirt is overflowing our cups and pouring out onto the people that God sends our way. That is what the Great Commission is all about. As Jeremiah read earlier from Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That is our charge now brothers and sisters. Jesus has equipped you, Jesus has demonstrated for you, and Jesus is with you now. This afternoon and evening we have another opportunity with this Fall Festival to touch others with Christ’s love and compassion. I know many of you feel this is not your calling or gift, but I will argue that Jesus didn’t convey this to only the evangelists, He told this to all His disciples, and that would include you and me.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. That is a wonderful quote, and I would like you all to say it with me now, three times, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.
Jesus wants you to make this Christian life thing real, starting today. Are you willing?
Will you consider shoring up your relationship with Christ today? And allow the Holy Spirit to empower you and fill you up for the work ahead.