Summary: 1) Jesus regularly gathers with the faithful. 2) Whenever Jesus is present, new and exciting things are in store. 3) In this first public appearance of Jesus, He is presented as healer.
Jesus in the House!
Three things – 1) Jesus regularly gathers with the faithful on the Sabbath. 2) Whenever Jesus is present, new and exciting things are in store. 3) In this first public appearance of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is presented as healer.
1) Jesus regularly gathers with the faithful on the Sabbath.
Our Scripture tells us these events take place on the Sabbath, so, naturally Jesus went to the synagogue to worship and enjoy a time of fellowship with other Jewish believers. Remember that Jesus was a faithful Jew! Being fully Jewish was one of the requirements of being Messiah. …and not only was he Jewish, but He was also sinless before the Law!
Gathering on the Sabbath was not something Jesus just began when he started his ministry! …For all of his life, Jesus had been attending weekly gatherings of the faithful. No doubt this was the regular custom in Joseph and Mary’s household. …Regularly attending synagogue, spending time in community praying, worshiping and learning had become a part of Jesus' spiritual DNA.
Folks, this is important for us to understand, because Jesus is often seen as the guy who was always bucking the system. …the guy who called the leaders and rulers of the Temple System to task. …but the only way he could do that effectively was by being a person who was in regular attendance …a person who knew the ins and outs of the worship system!
Another reason this realization is important for us is that … Jesus always leads by example.
My friends, you need to hear this loudly and clearly. I fully and firmly believe that Jesus meets us right where we are spiritually, physically, and mentally whenever we call on his name and confess Him as Lord! ….but he doesn’t allow us to stay there!
Even if he meets us in the largest cathedral ever built, He calls us to grow beyond that place where he encountered us and to enter into new relationship with God!
Now, this is something that is going to hit some people right between the eyes, but I have to proclaim it because I see it in God’s Word! …with very VERY few exceptions …People who claim that they can have a relationship with God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit and never take part in the regular gatherings of the faithful for worship are lying to themselves! …Satan had succeeded in convincing them that they can ‘go it alone’ …because Satan knows …just like wild animals on the African plains …anyone alone is easy pickings!
Now, folks, I need to carry this further. …Watching a preacher on TV or listening to one on the radio is a poor substitute for being in regular communion with believers gathered for worship.
For some, that is the best they can do because of their circumstance, and in this day …because of the worldwide pandemic.
But my friends, these are exceptions to the rule! God instituted the church for the faithful to be able to grow with one another, support one another, hold each other accountable, learn from one another, so God can bless us as His people, and so we can BE the church in the world. Folks, the church is relevant in our world and we CANNOT BE COMMITTED CHRISTIANS IN OUR WORLD TODAY AND NOT BE A PART OF A GODLY CHURCH GATHERING!
If you are not physically gathering with believers in a way that you can look them in the eye and speak frankly and personally with them, you are missing out on one of the primary blessings God has given to us!
…and quite honestly, I question the integrity of your profession of faith.
…and I don’t want to hear all the excuses! …Jesus is greater than excuses! …and He has given us the example of gathering regularly with the faithful, and that is the standard of our faith! …Period! …End of paragraph!
2) Whenever Jesus is present, new and exciting things are in store.
As we look at this passage Mark gives us, we see that the heart of the story is that in Jesus, God in the Flesh, the God of Covenant and of Creation has shown up in this Synagogue.
In this living, breathing person, God is fully present and very much alive in a new and amazing way! Israel's long-awaited Messiah has come to rescue, redeem and restore the hearts of people everywhere.
Now, in that day, any male Jew of age could stand up and request to both read and comment upon the Scripture in the Synagogues. Of course, there were social customs to follow, but at any rate, Mark tells us that Jesus got up to teach, and things were never more the same.