Summary: In a broken world, many evils try to own us. Is there healing for the evils that have taken us captive? Let’s learn about the healing that Jesus brings. Let’s look at Jesus healing a man possessed by evils in Mark 1:21-28.
Prelude: In a broken world, many evils try to own us. Is there healing for the evils that have taken us captive? Purpose: Let’s learn about the healing that Jesus brings. Plan: Let’s look at Jesus healing a man possessed by evils in Mark 1:21-28.
Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath[s] He entered the synagogue and taught.
The word is “sabbaths” (plural) in Greek, indicating that Jesus taught in the synagogue regularly. Sabbath was a sacred time under the Old Covenant and the synagogue was a sacred space for the Jews. Yet, Jesus taught with authority, invading what they believed was their place. The most concerned with protecting that sacred space was someone possessed. We confuse what is sacred to us with what is sacred to God. Let’s exorcise the demons of our own opinions and get back to what is truly sacred.
And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus did not teach like those who think they have authority, but teach rubbish. Nor was He an ignorant know-it-all pulling bad ideas out of thin air and blaming the Holy Spirit. To have the authority of Jesus, we ought to at least start by teaching what Jesus taught instead of inventing things that have no basis in His doctrines.
Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,
A demon attending church? Can it happen today? Does an evil attitude ever crop up at church?
saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
The demon yelled, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!” (MSG) Notice the attitude! Notice the “we” and “us!” There are others with the same attitude. Where are these other demons? Should we be shocked to occasionally find similar scenes in churches today? Notice too that the demon recognized Jesus sooner than the disciples and others.
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
Not once did Jesus address the man, but spoke directly to the demon.
Do we tear down or build up? Do we cooperate with the kingdom of God, or like demons desire to possess and control others? Do alcohol, drugs, greed, affluence, gluttony, selfishness, envy, jealousy, criticism, lust, covetousness, anger possess us? Is our world filled with evils that want to own and possess us?
And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.
Jesus did not perform an elaborate ceremony. He simply used his authority and told the demon to be quiet and leave. We all have our demons. The long term solution is often to find the cause, exorcise the demons and change our lives so that they will not come back.
Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
Jesus healed more than any other person in the Bible. People have a higher priority than rules and laws. God is a God of compassion. Jesus healed people and touched them, spoke and used physical means. Not everyone has gifts of healing, yet we all can touch, speak and use physical means. A touch or word can heal or destroy. Are we healers or destroyers?
Healing of a Nation
God healed Israel’s national problems (1 Samuel 6), water sources (2 Kings 2), leaders (2 Kings 20), land (2 Chronicles 7:13-14) and the people (2 Chronicles 30:18-20), if they would humble themselves, pray and turn to God. David sang of God healing all our diseases (Psalm 103:1-3) and broken hearts (Psalm 147:3). Complete healing is body and soul. The source of healing is the cross (Isaiah 53:5). God promised to those who honor God’s name that a new day of righteousness would dawn with healing (Malachi 4:1-2). Jesus healed body, soul and mind (Mark 1:27). He continues healing lives.
Healing since Ancient Times
If God can create, he can also heal the creatures which he created. God reveals himself as our healer throughout the Bible. Possibly the earliest healing in the Bible is when Abraham prayed for Abimelech’s household and God healed them (Genesis 20:17). God promised healing to Israel in Exodus 15:26 in return for their obedience. There is also our responsibility for the healing of those we have injured (Exodus 21:19). Numbers 12 and Deuteronomy 28 reveal that one cause of disease can be sin. And in Deuteronomy 32:39 God reveals himself as healer in a manner that no man can. So, when Jesus healed even what we term today as mental illnesses (Mark 1:28) it was a sign of his divinity. Though he does not always heal immediately, God’s promise of healing has not changed.