Mark 1:16-28 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
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.
Last week, as we celebrated Easter Sunday I shared with you how Jesus Christ is King of a Kingdom that is not of this world. So many people do not understand this and how unique Jesus of Nazareth is among all the people who have walked on this earth. The only way to enter into this Kingdom is to know the King- Jesus Christ and to be united to Him through His shed blood upon the cross.
At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry it is recorded that Peter and Andrew and James and John left their professions at the call of Jesus. Being with Jesus of Nazareth was more important than anything. So much so that the Good News that they heard from Jesus and would come to fully understand after Jesus’ resurrection would send them on a path to preach this message to the surrounding nations and to die for the One who called them. Their lives became consumed with Jesus Christ who was their Saviour! Are you consumed with Jesus or is He just another person who may or not have lived upon this earth? Does His very existence mean everything to you or have you not even examined who He is?
No one comes to give up everything to follow Jesus all at once and Peter and Andrew and James and John were no different. They had already been looking for the Christ when Jesus had called them. They had been prepared by John the Baptist who had declared to them in reference to Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35) and they knew to follow Him. They had already been born again by the Spirit of God. It is only by a close examination of Jesus Christ that anyone will hear Jesus calling them and turn to Him.
But no one will examine Jesus Christ unless they have a reason to. Peter and Andrew and James and John under the preaching of John the Baptist had come to know the God of the Bible, they had come to see the wicked state of their own hearts, and they had come to see that they needed to look for the Christ, the Saviour, who was to come. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis how many people are searching and are in distress but do they see a need to examine Jesus Christ for who He really is?
From the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry Jesus demonstrated that He was unlike any other man. He demonstrated that He was a King from a Kingdom not of this world. He had an authority that was far and above any other man. He entered the synagogue on the Saturday and taught the people and astonished them! He spoke the Word of God in such a manner as led by the Spirit of God that they had never heard before! Everyone was hanging on every word that He spoke and looking at Him in wonder! Who was this man? Does the Word of God amaze you? In the midst of this COVID-19 crisis have you heard the Word of God as enabled by the Spirit of God? Not just reading the Bible like any other book but the very Truth of God is revealed to you by the Spirit of God as you read it? Jesus Christ Himself is made known to you and you are amazed!
In the synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit, someone who was demon possessed. At the proclamation of the Word of God the demon spoke to Jesus saying:
Mark 1:24 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.”
Satan and his demons know that there is a judgment awaiting them for their rejection of the Holy One of God. This final judgment will be revealed to them when Jesus stands before them one day in the future in all His authority as Judge. They had been created as angels in eternity past but at some point they had rejected the authority of God. They had gone their own way and had become demons- fallen angels and no longer had fellowship with God. The demon within this man was afraid that the time of their judgment had come and so he cried out to Jesus. Jesus could see this demon. His Kingdom is not of this world. He could see the forces of darkness in that synagogue unrecognized by the Jews around him. Jesus’ Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom where no darkness reigns.
And what does Jesus do? He authenticates His Word in casting out the demon:
Mark 1:25 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.
All the forces of darkness will one day be removed with the second coming of Jesus Christ. This was shown at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. But His first coming was not as the Judge but the Saviour. He rebuked the demon and cast it out setting the man free! What authority Jesus has! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!
Do you recognize the One who has authority? Do you know the King of a Kingdom that is not of this world? Or are you too living in fear of the Judgment? Are you afraid of being cast out forever with the demons apart from the presence of God? Do you continue to reject the Holy One of God? He came in authority to set you free! He came to call you to Himself!
Pastor Murray Hack