Summary: Some people don’t believe in Demons and unclean spirits. But if you’re a Christian, you know they do exist because you’ve seen Jesus confront them throughout His ministry.
Sermon: Even Demons Believe
Scripture: Mark 1:21-28
We meet here every Sunday as professed Christians. We say we believe in God. We say we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. We say we believe in the indwelling Holy Spirit and we say we believe in the Saving Power of this Triune God of ours.
And because we believe this...We have an enemy. Yes, we have an enemy whether we believe or not, it doesn’t matter. He roams the earth, like a Lion, looking for whom he can devour ...one of his names is Satan.
Listen to these results from a poll taken this century...
In 2001, 58% of those polled said that Satan is not a living being, but a symbol of evil. In 2004, that percentage went up to 60%.
In 2001, 45% of those polled said that Satan does not exist. In 2004, that percentage went up to 50%.
And yet, if we believe that the Bible is the Word of God for Mankind and that it is divinely written, we know that Satan is a living being and that Satan does exist.
And what greater passage is there in the Word of God than our Scripture today. It’s just bursting at the seams with the ever-existing story of good versus evil, right versus wrong...the confrontation of demons versus Holy Authority. The story of Jesus versus the Devil.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, a little, because I want you to understand more fully, the impact that Jesus began making on the world of His time at the beginning of His Ministry...an impact that would lead to His own crucifixion...an impact that would span the ages to come...an impact that I hope impresses itself upon us here this day.
Our scripture begins: Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum; and when the Sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.
We must understand that there is quite a bit of difference between the synagogue of Jesus’ time and the Church, as we know it today. The synagogue of the Jews was primarily a teaching institution...prayer, the teaching of God’s Word and it’s exposition. There was no music, no singing, no sacrifice.
The Temple was the place for worship and sacrifice...the synagogue was a place of teaching and instruction. And if a man had a new message to preach, the synagogue was the obvious place to preach it. Jesus had a new message... ‘and when the Sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.
You see, the synagogue didn’t have didn’t have a regular minister or preacher. It did have certain officials, though, that ruled the service, or helped with the alms, or helped with the upkeep of the building and then there were those who helped with the children and elderly.
As the service would begin, the ruler would call upon some competent person to give the address and lead the exposition of the Torah. To the Jews, the Torah was the Law. It was the most sacred thing in the world. The core of the Torah is the Ten Commandments, but also, it is the Pentateuch, or the first five books of our Bible.
The exposition of the Torah is the revealing of its laws for everyday situations and everyday living. And so it must be diligently studied and then followed to the letter. The Jews lived their lives by the rules and regulations that came from the Pentateuch.
And this is what led the Jews to have a ritualistic and legalistic religion...a religion that ruled their every moment and a religion that Jesus came to change.
I. He Spoke with Authority
Our scripture continues by saying...’They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.’
When Jesus was given his chance to teach, He astounded them.... He amazed them with the way He spoke. Don’t you want to know how he spoke and why it was so different from others that had taught in the synagogue?
Well let me give you some idea why Jesus’ teachings were so different and so amazing to the Jews that sat and listened to him.
Our scripture says that ‘He spoke with authority.’
William Barclay describes the normal teaching in a Jewish synagogue...
In order to have a diligent study of the Torah, a class of scholars arose and they were called Scribes. The scribes had three duties regarding the exposition of the Torah
Ø To extract rules and regulations for every situation in life.
Ø To transmit and teach the law and its development.
Ø To judge individual cases regarding the breaking of the law.
And so, when the Scribes would speak, they would always begin by saying, ‘There is a teaching that...’ and then they would quote their authority ...possibly a master teacher of the past or some established law. A scribe would never state an independent judgment on his own. The authority of what he would say would always come from another source.