Summary: A sermon about trust.
“God Among Humankind”
A couple years ago there was a pretty bad disaster out at sea.
A tourist boat, loaded with cars and partiers, had not shut its doors properly; water began pouring in; the boat started to sink, and panic set in!!!
People were screaming as the happy and relaxed atmosphere of the ship turned, in minutes, into something worse than a horror movie!!!
All at once one man—who was not a member of the ship’s crew—took charge.
In a clear voice he gave orders, telling people what to do.
Relief started to mix with panic as people began to realize that someone, at least, was in charge…
…and people started to get to the lifeboats they would have otherwise missed in the dark and the chaos.
The man himself made his way down to the people trapped in the boat’s hold.
There he formed a human bridge: holding on with one hand to a ladder and with the other to part of the ship that was nearly submerged, he was able to make sure people were able to cross to safety.
When the nightmare was over, the man himself had drown.
He had literally given his life using the authority he had assumed—the authority by which many had been saved.
Now, take that picture to a different sea coast.
In the little town of Capernaum there was a synagogue.
And here comes a Man, not one of the usual teachers, Who starts, on His Own authority, to tell people what God’s will is, how the Kingdom is coming.
Unlike the Temple in Jerusalem where people worshiped and made sacrifices, the synagogue was mainly for teaching.
It was a place for prayer and instruction.
And Jesus’ teaching was electric and new.
The usual teachers, the priests, the scribes and the Pharisees didn’t teach like Jesus.
They always said, “as Moses said,” or “as Rabbi so-and-so said.”
On the other hand, Jesus spoke with compelling authority which was all His Own!
And then Jesus moves from authoritative teaching to authoritative action!!!
As Jesus was teaching and the people stood amazed…
…we are told in verses 23 and 24 that “Suddenly, there in the synagogue, a person with an evil spirit screamed, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.”
This poor man had somehow been invaded by a force from outside him over which he had no control.
How many of us can relate?
None of us have any guarantees.
Any of us could be assaulted by a myriad of life’s external dangers—whether it be a car accident, an illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job.
How frightening life must be to a person who is dealing with such things, and concludes that he or she must try and navigate through life’s perils without any resources, guidance, love, or help from God.
How easy and natural it must be to lose hope!!!
In 2010 a disturbing report hit the news about a little boy in Chicago who was shot and permanently disabled in a drive-by shooting.