WHEN JESUS CAME TO CHURCH
A. HUMOR: FAITH BETTER THAN ATHEISM
1. I read about a rabbi who was sitting next to an atheist on an airplane. Every few minutes, one of the rabbi’s children or grandchildren would inquire about his needs for food, drink, or comfort.
2. The atheist commented, “The respect your children and grandchildren show you is wonderful. My kids don’t show me that kind of respect.”
3. The rabbi responded, “Think about it. To my children and grandchildren, I am one step closer in a chain of tradition to the time when God spoke to the whole Jewish people on Mount Sinai. To your children and grandchildren, you are one step closer to being an ape.” (Laura Schlessinger)
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil
spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. Mark 1:21-28
1. If Jesus were to personally walk into every church this morning, what would it be like?
2. We all have our stereo-typical opinions of what it would be like: some think we’d feel an awesome peace; others think a heavenly love would pervade; others, a feeling of tenderness & compassion.
3. But are we right? What would actually happen if Jesus showed up for church? Well, it happened in Capernaum, and it was different than anyone expected.
4. Someone has said that if God took the Holy Spirit out of the world, 90% of the churches would never know it, because the Holy Spirit is so restricted from moving freely or at all!
5. That’s why so many churches are dry, disconnected, tedious, and boring. But you can tell the difference when Jesus shows up for church! God’s presence is manifested!
6. The title of this morning's message is, "When Jesus came to Church." We're going to look at the power of Jesus’ teaching, see his confrontation with evil, and see the people's reaction to the miracle.
I. POWER OF JESUS’ TEACHING
1. It happened at the First A of G in Capernaum;
2. It was: a. An Awesome Day, in
b. God’s's House, with
c. The God's Son,
d. Teaching God's Word.
3. What was the effect of Jesus' teaching?
B. JESUS AMAZED THE PEOPLE Why?
1. He Preached The Truth. Truth is powerful. The Word is like a sword, piercing and dividing.
2. Jesus didn't teach like the Scribes.
a. They quoted traditions, ventured opinions.
b. They tried to impress people with their wisdom.
3. Jesus had no doubts, no hesitancy, no question as to what He believed was true.
4. And He was backed up by the anointing of the Holy Spirit:
a. If Jesus spoke of sin, the H.S. convicted of sin.
b. “ “ “ righteousness, “ “ righteousness.
c. “ “ “Coming judgment, “ “ coming judgment.
5. If this gospel doesn't still come with power, then the skeptics can attack it with ease. But if it comes in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, then God shuts the mouths of the cynics and God gains renown!
C. HE DISTURBED THE POWERS OF DARKNESS
1. Is it possible that this guy was a regular member of the church? Yes! It's possible that demons hold membership cards, sit on church boards, and sometimes stand behind pulpits!
2. But when Jesus comes to church, they can't tolerate His presence or His truth.
3. This man was in bondage -- shackled with invisible fetters. He needed deliverance.
4. Demons cause people to be dumb, deaf, blind. This man had an "unclean" or perverted spirit. He began to disrupt the service. He began to cry out and to shake violently.
5. Now some churches have the opinion that it’s always God’s will for services to be quiet, peaceful, and logical. In general, I agree.
6. But there are times when the Holy Spirit moves. There may be tongues and interpretations, there may be some shouting, there may be some crying, tears, and deliverances.
7. The key is to trust God, trust the leadership, and to try to be flexible.
D. DO WE DISTURB THE POWERS OF DARKNESS?
1. PAUL DID! There was a Girl with a spirit of Divination at Philippi. Paul rebuked the spirit and it came out.
2. At Ephesus, there were the 7 Sons of Sceva. The demon spoke, "Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard about, but who are you?"
3. Paul was on Hell’s Bulletin Board, labeled
4. If we get enough of Jesus in us, we’ll disturb the Powers of Darkness!
II. CONFRONTATION WITH EVIL
A. FOUR ARGUMENTS FROM HELL
1. "LET US ALONE!" [Vs. 24, KJV]
a. This is a common rebuff people in our society make. But if we’re sick, do we really want the physician to leave us alone? If we were condemned at the Bar of Justice, do we really want Mercy to leave us alone?
b. People mean “Don't bother me by telling me about sin, hell, judgment, or eternity."
c. People tell God they want Him to leave them alone. But to be "left alone" is a worse judgment.
d. Prov. 27:5 says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Thank God He deals with us and won’t let us alone.
2. "WHAT HAVE WE TO DO WITH YOU?"
a. "You do religion your way and I'll do it my way."
b. A recent Barna poll revealed that 4 of every 10 American adults believe “All religions are basically the same; Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims pray to the same deity, simply using different names.”
c. This is absolutely not true! Each faith has very different ideas about what God is like and each believes theirs is the only way.
d. Dr. Michael Green comments: “Perhaps the greatest difference of all [among religious views] lies in the Christian assertion that none of us can save ourselves and make ourselves acceptable to God… all the other faiths assert that by keeping their teachings a person will be saved, fulfilled or reborn.”
e. He points out that only Jesus Christ…
…ever claimed to bring God to man;
…dealt radically with our sin;
…broke the final barrier of death;
…offers to “live inside” His followers.
f. Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins” Jn. 8:24.
3. "ARE YOU COME TO DESTROY US?"
a. Satan still wants people to think that God is out to destroy them. Thoughts like, "God is just waiting for me to mess up. Then He’ll clobber me."
b. No, if that was God's purpose, He would have done it years ago. Instead, God loves you and is patiently waiting for you to allow Him into your life.
4. "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE: THE HOLY ONE OF GOD."
a. Outward agreement with Christ. We may say "Jesus is Lord," but is He really Lord in our lives?
b. James 2:19 says, "the devils/ demons believe and tremble."
c. It's not enough to simply believe Jesus with our minds, we must obey Him or our faith is in vain.
B. JESUS REBUKES HIM
1. How did Jesus respond to these 4 rebuffs? He commanded, "Be muzzled!" "Come out of him!"
2. Jesus orders him like a man orders a dog out of the house. Effect? The demon "shook the man violently" and came out with a shriek.
C. BELIEVERS HAVE THE SAME AUTHORITY
1. The Chicken Lady. The late Christian A. Herter was running hard for reelection as governor of Massachusetts. One day, he arrived late at a barbecue. He’d had no breakfast or lunch, and he was famished.
2. As he moved down the serving line, he held out
his plate and received one piece of chicken. The governor said to the serving lady, “Excuse me, do you mind if I get another piece of chicken? I’m very hungry.”
3. “Sorry,” the lady responded, “I’m supposed to give one piece to each person.” “But I’m starved,” he repeated.
4. Again she said: “Only one to a customer.” Herter was normally a modest man, but he decided this was the
time to use the weight of his office, and said, “Madam, do you know who I am? I am the governor of this state.”
5. “Do you know who I am?” she retorted. “I’m the
lady in charge of chicken. Move along, mister.”
6. I like that: First, she knew who she was—the lady in charge of chicken, and she knew what her authority was.
7. More Christians need to be like her: to know who we are in Christ, that we’ve been filled with His Spirit and have received His power (Acts 1:8), and that we’re joint heirs with Him(Rom. 8:17).
8. When we walk in the Spirit, we walk in His authority,
we speak His words, and we do His acts. We’re not intimidated by the powers of darkness. The devil should be intimidated by us.
9. As John Hagee says, “When the devil sees us
coming, he should grab his Maalox and dial 9-1-1.” [Bill Bright].
III. REACTION TO THE MIRACLE
1. “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” (Vs. 27).
2. Twelve times in the Gospels, it says that people were “amazed” by Jesus. The different words describe how they were “struck” with amazement, dumbfounded, seized/ grabbed by amazement, frightened, or their mind was “displaced” with amazement.
3. This particular Greek word, ‘tham-be-o’ means they were so amazed they were put in a “stuper.” Like paralyzed and unable to speak.
4. One thing is certain about Jesus; you will be affected one way or the other – you will never be neutral. You will love Him or hate Him!
B. JESUS’ FAME SPREAD
1. Vs 28 in the KJV says, “And immediately His fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.”
2. “Fame” means “estimation or public opinion held of a person; renown; public eminence; reputation -- on account of notable achievements.”
3. Jesus was already “famous” in the invisible, spiritual realm; but now was becoming famous because of His acts of power if we cooperate with Him, He can gain renown through us as well.
4. May God help us to help bring fame to Jesus by letting Jesus live through us and touch them with His life and power!
A. ILLUSTRATION: OVERCOMING EVIL
1. Overcoming locked gates, tall fences and snapping dogs presents a challenge for us meter readers in rural Oklahoma, where we are required to read all meters: no estimates are allowed.
2. One time a co-worker succeeded in getting past a particularly vicious watchdog tied to a chain that was long enough to give him sway over the entire back yard and driveway.
3. Later, the man was questioned by his superior: "How were you able to get past that watchdog? The customer is curious."
4. "That’s easy, boss," the meter reader replied. "I parked on his chain."
5. Come on Church; let’s don’t ‘take it off the devil,’ let’s ‘park on his chain!’
B. THE CALL
1. There’s an awful possibility of being astonished, but not convinced; of being persuaded, but not saved.
2. Polaroid lost $52 million in the first two quarters of 2001. They laid off 5,500 workers. Why? They missed it -- digital images.
3. In 1960, Swiss watches dominated 65% of the market. By 1980, only 10%. Why? They missed it -- quartz movement.
4. Jesus has come to Church this morning. You must not miss it! God is DEALING WITH YOU now, but He might not continue to. “Today is the day of salvation! NOW is the appointed time.”
5. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today. Join me in prayer.
6. Let’s ask God to make us “Dangerous to the devil.” God expects us to do our part in being spiritually prepared – stay full of the Spirit, the Word, and looking for opportunities to extend the kingdom of God.