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Christ's Authority on Display



"They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!" And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 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." Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee."
Let us pray

Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for Your Word. We are so grateful to You for allowing us all to be together, and granting us this amazing opportunity for to study these riveting Truths. Speak to each of our hearts and fill our minds with Your peace and unlimited joy. Lord, thank You for counting each of us worthy to serve You and know You. Grant us the boldness and courage to proclaim You Word to others, as You reveal those whose hearts You have prepared. Father, You have promised that whoever will call in the name of the Lord will be saved, we ask that You would work in mightily in the hearts of those who are without Christ as their Lord and Savior. Open their eyes and ears and make your true Word heard. All for Christ's sake and for Your glory. Father, bless your children as we gather to worship and praise and exalt Christ in a world unbelieving
In Jesus’ name we pray
Today's Message:  Christ's Authority on Display

In this postmodern world in which we live, we're taught to deny the existence of absolute truth and to question all authority, which must always be put under the microscope and submitted to personal reason. However, when Jesus came and He began to speak, everyone stopped to listen, even the demons. Whenever Jesus shows up He always brings with Him a dramatic and radical change.  So, what exactly is so different about Jesus' teaching? The message He preached was the kingdom of God has come into this world, and we are all invited to enter through repentance and believing this Good News.  In other words, we are invited to enter His kingdom by turning from our old selfish ways, self-centered ways, changing the way that we view our sin and the world and embrace the Good News that Jesus came to proclaim, and to follow Him to help us to live by His teaching. In other words, when Jesus comes into our heart, we don't work Jesus into our lives, we work our lives around Jesus.

The message He preached was not designed to make sinners comfortable, but to rescue the souls of sinners from the bondage of evil present ruler, Satan Himself. In our last message, Jesus overpowered Satan,  the temporal ruler of the universe, and today in our text Mark records that He exercise His power and authority over the demons of Satan's domain, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that He is the Son of God, the new King, and the promised Messiah. If He is to establish His Kingdom it is essential that He demonstrate He has an authority that is beyond human authority. Quite simply, to demonstrate He comes in the power and authority of God Himself.
If you have your Bibles, open them and turn with me to Mark chapter 1, verses 21-28. I encourage you follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds. I pray that the Lord would help us to hear and apply what He has to say to each of us today and strengthen our faith.  Mark 1:21-28. 
Let’s begin by looking at verse 21, "They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach." When Mark say "They went into Capernaum," he means Jesus and those who were following Him. It's interesting that even though Jesus was from Nazareth, the majority of His ministry was in Capernaum, which was a hub of trade and traffic, located on the northwest edge of the Sea of Galilee. In John 4, Jesus said that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.
Mark certainly wastes no time in telling us that "immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach." Synagogue is the Greek word "sunagōgēn," which means the house of assembly, a place where people gather together for religious purposes, very similar to the local church today. There are no synagogues in the Old Testament, because they had a temple. The synagogue, going to back to the time of the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C, was the center of every Jewish community where Jews gathered to offer prayer and listen to the reading and exposition of the Holy Scriptures since they couldn’t go to the Temple to worship. The Talmud says that there were some 500 synagogues in Jerusalem and since Capernaum was a fairly large city, it’s likely that there were a number of synagogues there as well. It only required ten men to establish a synagogue. It was not uncommon for visiting rabbis to speak in the synagogue so it wouldn’t have been unusual for Jesus to be invited to preach there. If gathering with God’s people for worship was important to Jesus, it should be important to us.

Every Sunday, millions of people all over the world gather themselves in local churches; participating in worship services marked by fellowship in harmony and love. Allow me to be clear, while Christ is at the center of a true church, simply attending church doesn't make you a Christian! If we don't attend church, we are negating what God intends for His people, community and fellowship. Since we have been set apart from this world for God's purposes and plans, it's important to find a place of people with whom you belong. Scripture is clear; a truly Christ centered church will focus their teaching on the Word of God, because the Word of God is our only source of authority. A true church cannot be identified by it's denomination, the size of its congregation or the charisma of its leader but only by it's teaching the right doctrine. Therefore, finding a true church is crucial.
In 2 Timothy 2:14-16, Paul admonishes Timothy; "Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness."
Tragically, because there is a growing number of apostate churches with man-centered false teaching, focus social issues rather than Christ, there is also a significant number of Christians who aren't attending church at all. I've lost count of the number of times I've often heard, "I can't find a church in my area with like-minded believers that actually teaches the gospel anymore, so I've just stopped going to church," true Christians cannot digest anything less than the Truth. Unfortunately, by making the decision to isolate themselves, they never hear God’s Word preached and expounded, and are missing vital opportunities to serve others in the name of Christ. God’s will is for us to grow stronger in our faith, and one of the most important ways this happens is through hearing the Word of God and in our fellowship with other believers. Isaiah says in chapter 52, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, and says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" "
In verse 22, Mark tells us the reaction of the people, "They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." His authority in teaching amazed the people. You need to understand, in the first half of the book of Mark, the leaders and the people didn’t understand who He was, but they were amazed at His teaching. The verb Mark uses is "ekpléssó," they were at a loss, shocked, knocked out of their senses, completely dumbfounded. As they say in today's vernacular, He blew their minds. The scribes were known for their rote teaching based on repetition, having no inherent authority, they were just quoting other rabbis. When Jesus taught, He taught with the power and the authority of One enforcing obedience.
The writer of Hebrews 4 verse 12, tells us " For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
When sinners come to a true understanding of the Person and authority of Christ, they're not shocked senseless, they're traumatized and they will run to Him in fear, begging for forgiveness, mercy and grace. But these people weren't traumatized, they weren't fearful, they weren't begging for forgiveness, seeking mercy; they were amazed, quite frankly, amazed people aren't saved, so they end up in hell.

Verses 23-24, "Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!" He cried out or "anakrázō," is the Greek verb Mark uses here, meaning to shrieking loudly, screaming with intensity. By the way, demons aren't the least bit bothered by preaching without the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, in fact, they prefer to hang out with religious people who have rituals and rules but lack an authentic relationship with God. Since they attack they souls of sinners, they love to hide themselves in religious services where false teachers preach messages controlled by Satan. The ungodly are always under the control of Satan.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds."
Notice what happens when Jesus arrives, they can no longer hide, He exposes them. Unable to control their fear in the presence of holiness, they scream out in sheer terror. This is quite a sad commentary on the spiritual climate in that synagogue, a demonized man is sitting in their midst and no one even notices until Jesus starts speaking. Crying out in agony he says, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?" When he declares that Jesus is from Nazareth, it's twofold statement, first recognizing Jesus' humanity, declaring the name of someone was considered a way to secure mastery over someone, which is why Jesus immediately tells him to be quiet in the next verse but it was also a term of derision. Remember, in John 1:46, Nathaniel says "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Then, he says "Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!" Demons know that God is holy and Jesus is "the Holy One of God," so he asks "Have You come to destroy us?" Notice the contrast, the people, blinded to His presence among them were amazed and the demons, knowing Who He is, were terrified.  The use of the pronoun "us" indicates this demon is speaking on behalf of them all. Demons have reason to be afraid, they know Jesus is God incarnate and it terrifies them knowing they’re going to face Him one day and be permanently sent to the Lake of Fire! I believe this should be a salient warning to anyone who not in Christ.
Verse 25, "And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" Jesus doesn’t need the testimony of a demon to declare Who He is, so by His own authority He restrained him from speaking and immediately commanded him to leave and he left. There was no argument, no negotiation because he was well aware of the power and authority Jesus had over him. It's interesting to me, that in this rebellious culture of tolerance and acceptance most people reject the idea of authority in any form, believing "no one has a right to tell me what to do," Degenerate minds are unfortunately confused by the difference between "authority" and "authoritarianism. Don’t ever make the mistake of putting the authority of Jesus Christ and the authority of man on the same level!

Verse 26, "Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him."  Terrified, but in obedient compliance to Jesus' sovereign authority, he expresses a final statement of protest, wanting to hold that soul captive, he began violently hurling the man's body around in convulsions, flailing his arms and legs about in the midst of the people, and being extremely agitated, he let out a last raging scream, crying out with a loud voice, and came out of him. The word convulsions is the Greek verb "sparassó," meaning to mangle, to throw into spasms, much like having an aggressive seizure. There is no more dangerous place to be then where the Word of God is authoritatively preached with authority and righteous people of God are praying.
I’m confident this woke up anyone who fell asleep during the service! Let that be a lesson to you folks, to stay awake during church service. Notice Jesus uses no prayer, no ritual of exorcism, tracing a cross over Himself and sprinkling the demon with holy water, no religious invocation, He just spoke the words "Come out of him!" By the way, there's no such thing as the Roman Catholic rite of exorcism, it's not biblical. That power belonged exclusively to Jesus and the Apostles, nobody else has that authority!
Verse 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." They knew He taught like nobody else, so they were amazed before, but now they are really amazed! Being alarmed, almost in a panic, they began questioning each other, saying among themselves, "What is this?" They've never seen anything like this before, no one has ever possessed that kind of power and authority before. 
"A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." Jesus commanded that the man be set free from hell's power of demonic possession and immediately the unclean spirits listened and obeyed, he was instantly delivered. Sinners should be so terrified by such a Holy and Righteous Judge and run to Him as Savior, begging for mercy! 
People might understand Jesus' title, but I'm afraid they don't understand His deity, His power and authority! If they did, they'd be terrified. It's not enough to be amazed people, amazement does not equate being saved. He desires your allegiance, not your astonishment, He doesn't need or wanted that. It is a very dangerous place to be when one imagines he has no need to obey God, it is the most colossal form of arrogance!  If you have not committed your life to Jesus Chris,t you should be terrified, for even demons, who can never be saved are terrified!
Charles Spurgeon once said, "If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."

That brings us to verse 28, "Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee." Can you imagine? Immediately the news about Jesus spread everywhere, without the aid of social media, the internet or text messaging because those who saw what He did could not stop talking about it. And they began telling their friends and neighbors and those people told others, who then told others about Him. Imagine the impact we would have on the world, if we who proclaim His name were to faithfully commit ourselves to spreading the news about Jesus others about the Great thing He has done!
In Closing..
Tragically, most people are amazed by Jesus yet they fail to believe He is Who He said He was. He is both Lord and Savior and Righteous Judge. Everyone who has ever been born will meet Him as one or the other. My heart is deeply grieved for those of you who are subjecting yourselves to the torture and torment of Hell, by living an ungodly life, with unconfessed sin. Deliberately disobeying His Word, living in rebellion to His Word by compromising with the world, having sex outside of biblical marriage, unwilling to repent and turn away from your wicked, sinful behavior. 

The Good New is right now, you can still be set free from the power of Satan's kingdom of darkness, and enter into the Kingdom of Light and receive forgiveness of your sin. God is greater and stronger and higher and awesome in power.
Those who were in that synagogue that day, couldn’t stop talking about Jesus after they left the service. I pray that today every one of you will do the same, declaring His amazing grace by living out your faith before a watching world!

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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