Summary: When we invite Jesus to be in our midst some amazing things will happen! Things like receiving new insights and knowledge. Things like knowing that Jesus is the True Son of God, the Holy One Things like People experiencing True Freedom

Scripture: Mark 1:21-28

Title: Jesus Is In The House!

Anytime we invite Jesus to be in our midst some amazing things will happen!

I. Things like receiving new insights and knowledge.

II. Things like knowing that Jesus is the True Son of God, the Holy One

III. Things like People experiencing True Freedom - bondages broken and lives set free


Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Lord who came to take away our sins and the sins of the world!

It was the Sabbath, so, naturally Jesus went to the synagogue to pray, worship and enjoy a time of fellowship with other Jewish believers. This was something that Jesus had been doing this all of his life. It was what his mother Mary and his earthly father Joseph had taught him to do each and every Sabbath. Attending synagogue, spending time in community praying, worshiping and learning had become a part of Jesus' spiritual DNA. If you wanted to find Jesus on the Sabbath you would need to go around one of the local synagogues because that is where you would find him.

Mark doesn't make a big deal out of that fact. He just records it. Even though Jesus is more than forty miles from his home town of Nazareth he doesn't take Sabbath off. Instead, he gets up, eats breakfast, gets dressed and then leads his disciples to this particular synagogue in Capernaum.

It also appears that Jesus may have been asked to come and speak at this particular synagogue. Perhaps Jesus' preaching and ministry was already making quite a stir and a number of people around Capernaum wanted to hear him speak. More than likely the ruler of the synagogue had sent word to Jesus back in Nazareth that he wanted the young rabbi to come and share with his congregation.

Now, Mark doesn't tell us if the synagogue was pack in anticipation of Jesus being there or if it was one of those low Sabbaths because the regular speaker was either not going to be present or was not going to speak. You know how it is when it is announced that a special speaker is going to come. Some people scatter like the four winds while others change their plans to be in attendance. What mattered to Mark was that he wanted us to know that all of creation was already changing because of Jesus. This man called Jesus from Nazareth was stirring things up in ways that no one had witnessed for hundreds of years.

This morning, we find ourselves just 20 verses into Mark's Gospel and already he has taken us through the ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus' baptism, the Wilderness trials and the calling of Jesus' first few disciples. Mark begins his gospel with breakneck speed and he doesn't slow down very much. He is on a mission to get us into the heart of the story. And the heart of the story is that in Jesus, God in Flesh, the Good God of Covenant and of Creation has showed up. In this living, breathing human being God's presence is 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.

So, Jesus is here in the synagogue sharing his thoughts on that day's passage. Since we don't know the exact time of the year we don't know exactly what prescribe passage was being read. What we do know is that the minute Jesus started speaking people sat up and listened like they hadn't listened either before or for some time.

Jesus words were powerful, they were full of authority and spiritual gravitas. I am sure they didn't expect him to speak this way. After all, Jesus' reputation was that of being a carpenter/stone mason. It isn't hard to imagine that Jesus had at some time worked in this area. Two days walk ( that is how far it was from Nazareth to Capernaum) wasn't that far and it was common for carpenters/mason workers to travel much farther to get work during that time. So, it is safe to say that maybe there were some present that morning that may have had Jesus in their home at some time or the other doing some construction work or fixing something that had broken. It is even more safe to say that he had at some time even shared worship with many of them.

What amazed them was that Jesus spoke differently than those that they had heard before. They had heard those with degrees and letters come and share their knowledge and insights. They had heard those who had chosen their very words carefully and those who had even memorized what they were going to say. Over the years they had heard quite a number of scribes, Pharisees and Levites.

But this man from Nazareth spoke differently. He spoke as if He intimately knew the Lord God Almighty. He spoke with such a passion that stirred their minds and hearts. He spoke like one of the people whom Moses spoke about in Dt. 18:15-20. He spoke like a prophet who had been given the very Spirit of the Living God. What Jesus said resonated. What Jesus said made sense and it touched their hearts and lives. His message was both simple yet it was filled with so much truth and righteousness.

This morning, we can imagine what was going on that day because we have been there ourselves. Oh, perhaps not to a synagogue service so to speak but we have been to a service very similar. We have come to a service and been amazed at the speaker. We have thought - "Hey, this isn't so bad. He/She has something important to say."

We begin to focus in more and more on what they are saying and we find ourselves having a great time listening, absorbing and perhaps even taking down some notes to reflect on later. We are glad we came to church and we can even feel that God is speaking directly to us through this particular person.

We can also imagine seeing a few folks starting to whisper in amazement. This guy from Nazareth knows his stuff. We need to have him come back. We can hear a few "Wows" and even some "Amens". The spiritual air hasn't been this electrified in months if not years. Now, this is what needs to happen more often in our services.

And just about the time everyone is keyed in and going fully with Jesus some man stands up and loudly interrupts. The way he does it and what he says sends chills down everyone's neck. "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to wipe us out already? I know who you are - YOU ARE HOLY ONE OF GOD!"

Wow! You can imagine the air being sucked out of the building. Everyone eyes are peeled on Jesus and on this man. Even the teens have sat up to take notice. What in the world is going to happen? What was a first exciting service has now gone to DEFCON 1.

Jesus doesn't take a great deal of time to act nor does he really make big deal out of the man getting up and interrupting. "Be quiet!" he commands. Way to go Jesus. I am sure that was the opinion of everyone in attendance. We can't tolerate this kind of behavior in our services. It's one thing to say AMEN but to stand up and accuse the guest speaker. To accuse Him of being the Holy One of Israel. What in the world is going and what was that about Jesus coming to wipe someone out or to bring destruction. I thought Jesus was talking about loving God and serving God. Am I hearing the right message?

I am sure by this time the synagogue ruler is beside himself. Was this really happening? Did this man whom you have worshipped with for quite a number of years really get up and say all of that out loud - Asking Jesus if he had come to destroy him and then proclaimed Jesus to be the Holy One of God? Did Jesus just respond by telling him to "BE QUIET"?

And just as everyone was getting their bearings Jesus said something that no one else in that room could have ever imagined. Jesus looked at the man squarely in the eyes and told the unclean spirit that had controlled the man to come out of him. Jesus just cast out an unclean spirit like it was no big deal.

What? Hold on. Let's take a moment to pause, regroup and reflect.

Jesus and some of his disciples are here in Capernaum. It's Sabbath morning. Jesus has been invited to speak. He reads the passage and then begins to share. Everyone is amazed at his words. He is speaking with power and authority. Everything is going wonderful. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere:

+This man whom no doubt is well thought of gets up and yells at Jesus asking Him if the only reason he had come to this synagogue was to destroy him.

+This man whom is no doubt is well thought of calls Jesus the Holy One of Israel.

And while all of this was being processed, Jesus said something that took it all up to the next level. Jesus looked at the man and without batting an eye commanded - "Come out of him!". Immediately, the man started going into convulsions. Now, what in the world is going on? But even before anyone can jump up and begin to help the man he got quiet. The fire had gone out of his eyes and the air was filled with a cleanness and a calm that no one had felt in years.

Everyone looked up at Jesus and there he was perfectly at peace getting ready to share some more truths. This young carpenter turned rabbi from Nazareth was not frazzled or fazed in the least. He had taken it all in stride. In what had to seemed like an eternity had in fact been only a few minutes at most. The man had interrupted the service. He had challenged and revealed Jesus' true identity and with an authority no one had seen before, Jesus told him to be quiet and just as quickly and quietly told the unclean spirit to leave the man.

Those who were already a little amazed were now amazed beyond comprehension. Jesus had everyone's attention. Did what happen just happen? Didn't that man get up and didn't we hear a different voice come out of him? Didn't he start to convulse? Okay then. But right now he is sitting over there more at peace than anyone around here can ever remember. Wow! What a great day to come to synagogue worship. Wait till I get a chance to tell _______ what they missed today. Will they be sad that they were not in worship today.

So, what are we to glean from this story today? What does Bro. Mark want us understand?

Could you imagine having to speak the next Sabbath after Jesus? No, pressure at all, just do as well as Jesus of Nazareth did last Sabbath. Just teach with great authority like no one has taught before, quieten down a man who interrupts your service and by the way while you are at it cast out any unclean spirits that happen to be hanging around. If you can do that then you will do just fine.

While such services are not common the reality is when Jesus is present there is a great chance that something wonderful is going to happen. The question we have to ask ourselves is - "Do we come to worship expecting Jesus and His Holy Spirit to present in a mighty way." Or have we gotten so use to nothing happening or so little happening that we no longer come with any expectations? We pretty much know what is going to happen:

+We gather together + We say a quick prayer or two

+We sing a few songs +We put some money in the plate,

+We try our best not to zone out during the message,

+ We wait for the benediction and then go home.

No one interrupts the service other than by coughing, snoring or accidently dropping something. No one proclaims that the speaker only reason for coming to cast out unclean spirits or evil. No one stands us and testifies that the person speaking is the Holy One of God!

I am afraid if some of those things happened we really would not know how to respond. We would not only be shocked beyond belief we would wonder if we are in a real church or in some kind of cult. We would wonder what in heaven's name or for that matter in hell's name was going on.

So, was Mark merely including this story as an insight story; an epiphany? Or was Mark letting us know here at the beginning of his story what it means to invite Jesus into your worship space and life? Was Mark letting us know up front that when we let Jesus speak we can expect not only anticipate new insights, revelations and the like but we can also expect to see Evil, Sin and unclean spirits be cast out and people experience true freedom and worship?

That is a lot to think about but I believe this morning our passage can help us to understand some very important and vital truths. The number one being:

Anytime we invite Jesus to be in our midst some amazing things will happen!

I. Things like receiving New Insights and Knowledge.

When we open up our minds and our hearts and allow Jesus to speak to us and share with us His Word we will be amazed at how real the Bible becomes in our lives. God's Word, God's Love Story is much more than a bunch of words that we find on page after page. Listen to the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)

Regrettably, according to recent reports by Barna Group and Pew Research many people in our country believe that the Bible is neither God's Holy Word or is to be taken seriously for day to day living. If their research is correct it would mean that over than half of our fellow citizens (in the US) no longer believe that the Bible is God's Holy Word. Over half hold the opinion that the words we find in our Bibles are either "out and out fiction" or "ancient fables" at best. It is their belief that the Bible is merely a collection of writings that have been handed down for hundreds of years by people who were misogynist, racist, homophobic, intellectually deficient and culturally backward in nature.

And as much as we want to love and reach out to those people we must first understand that they are mistaken and have been blinded by the world and evil. They need to be enlighten by the Holy Spirit while we in the Church must make sure that we are never guilty of adding to either their blindness or their disregard for God's Holy Word.

Blindness? Disregard? How can and how have we in the Church promote such blindness or assist a growing disregard for God's Word?


The majority of people are progressive no longer seeing God's people reading a physical Bible in public, at work, at school or even at home. They are no longer seeing us visibly show them how important God's Word is in our everyday lives.

But isn't that just making a big deal out of nothing? I mean what good does it really do to bring a physical Bible to church or to have one with me at work, at school or in my car? Actually, it does a great deal of good.

-When we carry God's word it serves as an automatic visible testimony. When we carry God's Word we send out a visible message - God's Word is important. We believe that it is essential. We believe that it is vital.

-When we carry God's Word to Church it can prevent us from getting distracted. Yes, today it is very easy to have the Bible on our phones, our I-pads and on our Kindles. But if we are not careful we will find ourselves getting text messages, Facebook posts and a host of other things that will cause us to switch back and forth from our eBibles to post or to respond to a text message, tweet or instagram. The truth is we all need to put away all distractions and have quality Bible time, worship time and fellowship time. We can do that by putting down our phones and by picking up a physical Bible that we can read and meditate upon.


We are at a time in Western Church History when more and more churches are dedicating less and less time to the study of God's Word throughout the week. Many churches have chosen to no longer have Sunday night worship or even Wednesday night Prayer and Bible Study. Some churches have even forgone the idea of Sunday School or small group study classes all together. Some are under the opinion that life is simply too busy and that we who now live in the 21st century have outgrown such archaic endeavors. Some believe that we no longer need such intense study time of God's Word.

Really? Do we really believe that or is it just the case that we don't think it is worth our time? We don't think getting together as brothers and sisters in Christ, praying for one another, reading and studying the Bible together is worth our time? We don't think that we need to sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus and learn how to become a living example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Heaven help us.

The truth is when we invite Jesus to be in our midst, when we read His Holy Word and meditate upon it - The Bible - God's Holy Word comes alive. Almost immediately we will receive insight, wisdom, discernment and revelations that will enable us to live a more abundant life. We will learn from God how to be an authentic human being who knows how to love God, love others, love themselves and love all of creation as well.

The truth is anytime we invite Jesus to be in our midst some amazing things will happen:

II. Things like knowing that Jesus is the True Son of God, the Holy One

Something breathtaking happens when we make Jesus the center of our worship. The service becomes more than a time of human to human fellowship. The service becomes more than a time of greeting, giving and gaining human knowledge. It becomes a Shekinah moment - a moment when we recognize who Jesus is today, tomorrow and forevermore. It becomes a holy and sacred time when we can partake of Jesus' living bread and water. It becomes a time of refreshment and renewal.

We have all been in services where we knew what was being promoted was not primarily centered on Christ. At times it was a fantastic light show. At other times it was a certain special speaker who was trying to sell a few books or some DVD's or promote a good cause like the Gideon's or Samaritan's Purse or the Heifer Project. At other times the worship was designed to center on a certain Christian artist who again is seeking to sell some DVD's or tapes. And of course we could add those services that were designed to focus on the choir, the Children's Program, the Teen Program etc...

Now, please hear me - none of those things are wrong. But they must never take the place of Jesus. For when we allow Jesus to take center stage something wonderful happens in our times of worship. They literally go to the next level. In our hearts and minds we hear the testimony of all the angels in Heaven - THIS IS GOD'S SON - THE HOLY ONE.

And when that happens the time we meet is supernaturally transformed. There is an epiphany, a transfiguration and a transformation. There is something that happens that allows us to know that we are truly in the presence of God the Lord God Almighty.

When that happens we experience a shift in the service. It may take place during the opening prayer, during the songs or even during the time of greeting and sharing. It may happen during the offering, during the times of intercessory prayer or even during the message or closing. But it will happen. When Jesus is place on center stage - when we are centered on uplifting the name and message of Jesus the veil that separates heaven and earth is pulled back a little. Suddenly, we can feel the grace and the presence of the Risen One. Our time of worship becomes this amazing holy encounter and the space we are in is transformed into Holy Ground. It is the anticipation of such times that cause us to put all things aside so that we might worship together, experience together and be renewed together. It is the anticipation of such times that we focus on centering on Jesus - lifting Jesus up first and foremost.

The truth is anytime we invite Jesus to be in our midst some amazing things will happen:

III. Things like People experiencing True Freedom - bondages broken and lives set free

We don't like to think about it but we should not be surprised to read that there was an individual in the synagogue who was suffering from being enslaved by an unclean spirit. I believe that Mark wants us to understand that the Devil is doing His best to enslave everyone inside and outside the doors of the Church to some sin, addiction or spiritual disorder. The Devil is on an out and out attack to enslave every human on God's Good Earth.

Notice, very carefully that Mark does not tell us that this man was evil. To read such a thought into this passage I believe is to misread this passage. Mark does not tell us that Jesus condemned this particular man in any way, shape or form.

What we do read about is Jesus rebuking the unclean spirit and commanding it to leave the man alone. What we do read about is the story of how that man was free to worship, to learn and to give thanks like he had never be able to do before.

Instead of asking why there was an unclean spirit in this synagogue perhaps we should rejoice in the reality that Jesus came to free any and all of us from the penalty and power of sin. Jesus came to bring us life; abundant life. Jesus came to rescue us, redeem us and restore us into His Holy Image. An image which enables us to enjoy life here on the earth to its fullest and to be ready to enjoy everlasting life on the New Heaven and Earth to come.

This is why God in Flesh came in the first place. This man no doubt was doing the best he could do. After all, here he is in one of God's sacred places on the Sabbath. I believe that he was doing his best to live a life of righteousness and holiness.

I don't see him as an evil man. I don't see him as a man who was intent on causing a disturbance or bent on causing harm. However, I do see a man who the Devil had enslaved through direct possession or through what has been called spiritual oppression.

The truth is Mark does not give us very much of a back story. All that mattered to Mark in writing his story was that this man needed freedom. This man needed some major spiritual help and that Jesus came to his rescue. All that mattered to Mark was for us to know that when Jesus is in the House people who have been suffering, people who have been enslaved by evil are able to be released, find freedom, healing and wholeness.

If you want to know why we need Jesus as the centerpiece of our worship services - then look at verses 26 - 28. If you want to know why we need heaven to come down to earth today - then look at verses 26 - 28.

What we may not fully understand is many of the people (maybe even ourselves) come to church burdened down by oppression or we find ourselves enslaved to some unclean influence. I believe it would literally blow our minds if we knew how many people come to the average church on an average Sunday morning that have issues with things like gossip, lying, anger, depression, despair, pride, fear, forgiveness, lukewarmness, selfishness, materialism, lust, greed, pornography, addictions to alcohol, drugs - prescription and illegal etc...

It does not mean that these people are bad people. It does not mean that they have committed some unpardonable sin and have to live bound and enslaved to those things or other things. It does mean that we all need Jesus and the freedom and healing that Jesus can bring. It does mean that as human beings we are broken but not so broken that the Holy Spirit cannot cleanse us, purify us and lead us on the path of healing and restoration.

You have to love this passage. You have to love what Mark is trying to tell us. People - Good People - Synagogue Going People - People who did their best to follow all the rules, obey all the laws and do all the rituals - People can find themselves in so much trouble they don't know how to get out of the pit and out of the muck and mire of life.

But those same people - those same good people can find healing and wholeness in Christ Jesus.

I don't believe that Mark is pointing a finger at anyone. I mean after all Mark had his own spiritual issues. In Acts chapters 10 - 15 we read where Mark was initially completely dedicated and committed to following and assisting the Apostle Paul and Barnabas. But somewhere along the line Mark allowed fear, apathy or lukewarmness to creep in and he abandoned the Apostle Paul and Barnabas. He left his station and went back home. Mark did a 180 on his spiritual walk.

I am sure when he included this story in his Gospel he was rejoicing. He wanted us to know that there is hope for everyone. Mark knew what we all know this morning if we are honest with ourselves. We are all broken. We may not want to admit it but the truth is we are all broken.

Some of us are better at hiding our brokenness than others. Some of us are better at controlling our problems (our issues) when we are around a group of people. But all of us were born in sin and have committed sin (Romans 3:23). We all have the effects of sin in us and around us. (Romans 5:12)

I don't think that we should judge this man with an unclean spirit. However, we can follow his direction. We can acknowledge that Jesus is the Holy One. We can interrupt Jesus so that He can bring grace, mercy, healing and love. We can allow the Holy Spirit to bring His cleansing and healing grace. We can invite the Holy Spirit to help us experience a progressive walk of spiritual freedom and wholeness.

This morning when we allow Jesus in the House:

+We will be open to experiencing more insights, receive more revelations and possess more discernment, wisdom and knowledge.

+We will experience God's presence in amazing new ways - we will be able to sit at the very feet of Jesus and drink His Life Giving Water. We will be able to sit at the feet of Jesus and taste His Living Bread.

+We will be able to allow Jesus to bring healing into our lives and into the lives of others. We will be able to allow God's Holy Spirit to break the bonds of bad habits, wrong thoughts, wrong feelings and unclean things from our lives and the lives of others.

Mark wanted us to know that when Jesus came He came to set the captive free. He came to rescue mankind, to bring full redemption and to enable human beings to be restored into the image that God had created them in the first place. Mark wanted us to know that no matter what spirit attacks us, attempts to enslave us or has already enslaved us that Jesus is the way to freedom, to healing and wholeness. Mark wanted us to know that a whole new age for mankind began when Jesus came to earth. No longer would the penalty and power of sin have dominion over human beings. No longer do we have to bow down to our carnal desires and to be enslaved by our flesh or be enslaved to evil.

Jesus came to bring New Life - Abundant Life - Genuine Human Life.

This morning, our altars are open - our prayer partners are coming forward to be available to pray with you - today if you like to come and pray about anything - Jesus is in the House - Ready to save, sanctify, heal and bring freedom.

Song - Open Altar - Prayer Time - Benediction