Summary: Is the work of Jesus in your life one of authority and power that will amaze people? Series on Mark
ARE PEOPLE REALLY AMAZED? Mark 1:21-28
When Linda and I were in college we attended a service where there was a Christian Illusionist. That morning he carried with him a Chicago Tribune newspaper. It was very thick. He then was blindfolded and turned his back on the congregation. He had the pastor to pick someone from the congregation to come up and get the newspaper and take it into the congregation. He was to pick one section from the newspaper and hand it to someone else. That person was to pick one page from that section and hand it to someone else. That person was to pick an article from the page and show it and hand it to someone else. That person was to chose on sentence from the article and underline it and bring it to the platform and hand it to the preacher. All the time this was happening, the illusionist, with his back to the audience had removed the blindfold enough to be able to write. He sealed what he wrote in an envelope and handed it to the music pastor. The pastor then read the line that was selected from the congregation. To our surprise, the music pastor read the same line. The Illusionist told us that it was a trick, yet the command he had over the trick put us in a state of true amazement.
I think of great preachers I have read or heard:
John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, Matthew Henry,
T.W. Willingham, Stephen Manly, Thomas Hermez, Billy Graham,
Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley, Max Lucado, etc.
Yet I could still not come up with something that I thought would bring to your mind the “amazement”( to stupefy (with surprise), that is, astound:—amaze, astonish.)
But after hearing and seeing Jesus, that’s exactly how they were!
Wouldn’t it be fair to say that when we come to know Jesus and make Him known, that people will be amazed at the work and blessing He provides?
Let’s see what created all this amazement.
I. THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS v. 21-22
A. There are several things we need to understand:
1. He taught in the synagogue.
This was not just a place where people
could come and say, “I would like to say someone”, and they would just let them come and teach.
His reputation and preparation must have proceeded Him.
2. Not like the “teachers of the law” “scribes”
This story introduces the "teachers of the law" or scribes who will be Jesus’ opponents throughout his ministry. These men were not copyists but scholars, experts in the "traditions" by which the Jews interpreted and lived out the Torah. As custodians of the interpretation of scripture, the scribes were fulfilling a good and serious function and we should never cast them in the role of "the bad guys." Their passion was to construct an entire life built around the foundation of the law. In this they left no stone unturned and tried to leave no question unaddressed. Jesus does not oppose them for their function, but -as Matthew 23 stresses- for their misinterpretations and hypocrisies. Ray Steadman
Jesus taught with the divine authority!
B. Is there an air of authority, Christ’s authority that surrounds what we say and do?
C. It is great to quote other people because of their knowledge of the word, but do we depend upon their wisdom and “authority” to guide us in what we say and do?
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:1
D. There is only one authority that will amaze people and change their lives – JESUS!
II. THE POWER OF JESUS v. 22-25
A. The amazement of this story of His power is that Jesus presence changes everything.
B. The man possessed by an evil spirit:
1. Did not disturb the congregation.
2. Did not hinder the congregation.
3. Was not helped by the congregation.
4. His first response was “Let us alone” without even being addressed by Jesus!
C. Do we come each Sunday undisturbed, unhindered, without desire to help those in bondage to sin?
Does the power of Jesus’ presence effect us and move us to ministry?
Story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 a priest and a Levite, both men with duties in the synagogue, both ceremonially clean so to perform duties and could not touch someone who was left half-dead and probably looked that way. Yet, Jesus tells us that it is the one who stopped and helped that is considered “a neighbor to the man”.