Summary: This message shows how Jesus doctrine and deeds amazed those who heard Him. Emphasis is given to His primacy, power and passion in preaching.
Studies in the Gospel of Mark
The Greatest Preacher
Aim: To show that Jesus was a preacher with passion, and power.
Text: Mark 1:21-28
Introduction: With all the preparations in place the Lord Jesus now throws Himself into His mission. John has pointed to Him as the Lamb of God, the father has declared Him to be the Son of God, Satan has tempted Him and He is clearly seen to be the Holy One of God, and the disciples have followed Him as the Messiah of God.
Now bear in mind that Mark does not give us a complete or chronological account of Jesus’ ministry. His Gospel is the “Reader’s Digest” version. He skips to certain highlights, and presents the Lord as the Servant of Jehovah, jumping from task to task, and one of Jesus’ chief purposes was to preach the gospel. We saw that in verse 14, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” Jesus was the greatest of all preachers. His sermons were simple and yet profound. His message addressed not just the intellect, but also the emotions and the will. He spoke to the heart. His sermons were carefully peppered with well-chosen illustrations from every day life, and we know that the common people (at first) heard Him gladly. What a privilege it must have been to sit under the sound of the gospel preached from the mouth of the Lord Jesus.
Now Mark rushes along, and unlike Luke who took us to the synagogue in Nazareth, Mark brings us to the synagogue in Capernaum. Capernaum was the hometown of Andrew and Peter. It was also a town that witnessed some of the Lord’s best preaching and teaching. There He performed many miracles also. So Mark brings us to this town, to the home of Peter, his mentor and hero, and shows us Jesus at work in the synagogue there.
Now there are three aspects to this visit I want to highlight for you this evening:
First of all we see that Jesus Expounded the Scriptures
Then He Expelled the Demon
And finally, He expanded His Reputation.
Come now as we consider each of these in turn:
I. He Expounded The Scriptures – vss 21-22
A. Mark writes, “And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.” (vs 21)
1. Synagogues arose during the years of Israel’s Babylonian captivity, around 586 BC. Since the people could not go to the Temple to worship, so they came together in the synagogues to read and teach the Law and worship God.
a. By the time Jesus came synagogues were at the heart of every Jewish town and community.
b. There the people would gather on the Sabbath days to worship the Lord and hear His Word.
c. Typically pray read the Scriptures and hear a sermon usually given by rabbi or a scribe.
d. As with most things Jewish at the time, the weekly trek to the synagogue on the Sabbath had become something of a drudgery – largely due to the monotonous nature of the sermons.
e. The scribe or rabbi would stand and read some portion of Scripture and then he would sit down and endlessly quote other rabbis.
a. “Rabbi so-and-so thinks this, but rabbi so-and-so says the other, however the opinion of rabbi is of the opinion that neither of these two have it right, so he teaches us that…” And on and on it went.
b. Often, they would talk about the restrictions of the Sabbath or some other aspect of the Law whilst the people sat with a glazed look waiting for the last “Amen.”
2. This was the scene into which Jesus arrived.
a. “And straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.”
b. What did he teach? Well, typical of Mark he skips the details, but we have a fair idea of the kind of message Jesus preached.
c. When He visited the synagogue in Nazareth He preached from Isaiah, as we observe His open-air ministry He referred constantly to the prophets – Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos, Micah, and others.
d. When he taught the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Luke tells us He began, “at Moses and all the prophets, (and) expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
B. There are many today who want to downgrade preaching in favour of the sensational and the miraculous, but we should never forget that Jesus was firstly and fore mostly a preacher – and a thoroughly Biblical preacher at that.
1. He expounded the Scriptures, and He believed in the PRIMACY of preaching.
2. I wish to God we had men leading our churches today who believed the same thing – but they are far more interested in being thoroughly modern, and being seen to be trendy than in simply proclaiming the truth of Christ.