Summary: Demon activity was rampant in the Roman Empire, at this time. They operate in the spirit realm and they function by controlling the bodies of the people they invade. But God is in control in the spiritual realm, and He can control demons.
Harmony of the Gospels
Demoniac Healed on the Sabbath Day
And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. (Mark 1:21)
One time, the religious leaders questioned Jesus about His activities on the Sabbath Day. When He answered them, He told them, “…..My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). And He didn’t just work for eight hours and then check out. Psalms 121:4 says, “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall never slumber nor sleep.” On this particular Sabbath Day, He entered into the synagogue early in the morning and began to teach.
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:22)
When Jesus spoke, they were astonished at His message and His delivery, because at that time the synagogue did not have anything vital to offer. It had become the center of the social life for the community, but its primary function was to teach the law. However, when Jesus taught, He taught like a person that had authority and His message was new and potent, because it was the truth.
Today, If there is a criticism of the church, it is that it is not attempting to teach and preach the word of God. Many preachers have departed from the truth and have softened their message to avoid offending anyone, or they have gone off into other areas such as faith healing and name-it-and-claim-it rhetoric. If Jesus were to speak in many of our churches today, I doubt that He would be well received.
And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. (Mark 1:23-24)
Demon activity was rampant in the Roman Empire, at this time. They operate in the spirit realm and they function by controlling the bodies of the people they invade. But God is in control in the spiritual realm, and He can control demons.
There is a man in the synagogue that is demon-possessed. The demon that was inside recognized Jesus, and cried out, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?” The demon recognized Him and knew who He was. That happens every time He confronts one of these servants of Satan. They knew that He was the “Holy One of God”, and they knew that He could destroy them. Isn’t it strange that demons knew more than men did about Him? “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” (John 1:10) This miracle provided Jesus with credentials, because only God has this kind of power and only God moves in this realm. He taught as one who has authority and now He shows that He has power.
Satan worship and the occult are becoming prominent in our world today. Astrology and fortune telling are featured on TV advertisements. Also, the atrocities that are perpetrated by men can only come from the satanic. All this leads me to believe that we are moving back to the level of demon activity that existed during the time of Christ. There is only one way to deal with this, and that is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone can control the demons.
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. (Mark 1:25-27)
He has demonstrated His power and authority by His teaching and by His miracles. They cannot understand it, however His fame spread throughout all the region of Galilee.
And he came to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. (Luke 4:31)
Jesus spent more time in Capernaum, than in any other city. What an opportunity they had to receive the light of the Gospel. However, with light comes responsibility and they failed to receive Him as they should. There came a day when he told the people of Capernaum, “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell” (Luke 10:15).
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:32)
It was His custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath, so there He was, explaining the scriptures and instructing them in doctrine. They were astonished at His doctrine and at the way He preached. He taught differently than the scribes and Pharisees. Their words were cold and indifferent, but he spoke with great fervency, majesty and authority. He was uneducated, but He spoke without fear and was not intimidated by them, while the scribes and Pharisees, looked to others for approval. His words reached to their hearts, which had been made ready by the Holy Spirit. He confirmed His words by miraculous works; by casting out demons and by curing disease.