Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "The Touch Of Jesus".
Series: The Touch Of Jesus [#2]
When Solomon’s Temple had been destroyed and the Jews were in exile, they survived by gathering together on the Sabbath to learn about their law and traditions. This was so useful that when they returned they wanted to continue this so they began to build places where they could gather together. They called these places synagogues. It got to the point that they would build a synagogue if there was at least 10 adult men in that community and these synagogues were always either the highest building or placed on the highest ground.
In Jesus’ day there were synagogues all over the place. They were all built around a similar pattern. Only the men entered the main door of the building; women entered through a separate door and sat in gallery at the back. At the end of the building, opposite of the entrance, was a curtained alcove where the cupboard containing the synagogue scrolls was kept. In the centre of the building was a stage with a lectern (pulpit) where the prescribed portions of the law and the prophets were read and the sermon was preached. Those called to read ascended by the stairs nearest to them and descended by another set of stairs. “Moses Seats” faced the congregation from the end of the synagogue by the cupboard, and they were occupied by the more important scribes and Pharisees.
In the normal service, psalms were sung, the Scriptures were read, and the sermon was preached. A time of questions and discussion followed. But, on this particular day that Jesus was preaching, He had an interruption.
The possessed man was in the synagogue. What was he doing there? I wonder if he attended services regularly? We are not told; but if he was a regular, then the synagogue was spiritually dead. How do we know this? Because the man could attend services time after time and never be helped spiritually. How many services are dead, so lifeless that men with evil spirits can sit in the services and never be convicted or helped spiritually?
The possessed man screamed out because he could not handle the purity of Jesus. The demon recognized that Jesus had come to destroy him. The demon identified Jesus. He said, “I know who you are- the Holy One of God.” He confessed Jesus. What an indictment against so many! They deny, while demons confess. Knowing that Jesus is the Holy One of God is not enough. A person has to believe in Christ and love Him: Receive His gift of salvation.
Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit. Jesus did not accept demonic testimony to His Messiahship. Why? Such acknowledgment was involuntary, that is, of the mind only. It was only the mental knowledge that Jesus was the Son of God. It was not of the heart nor of the will to follow Jesus. It did not come from being born again. The witness Jesus wants is the witness of a man who has made a deliberate decision to profess Him as Lord; the witness of a heart truly changed; the witness of a heart moved by the Spirit of God to confess, “You are the Holy One of God”.
Look at the power of Jesus. He casts the unclean spirit out. How? By His Word, by simply saying, “Come out of him.” The evil spirit obeyed and as he left the man’s body, the man began to shake violently.
The people reacted in three ways.
1. They were amazed. What the people had witnessed was unbelievable.
2. They questioned and buzzed among themselves, “What thing is this? What new power or revelation is this? What is God showing us? Is the revelation the power from and of the Messiah?
3. They spread His fame everywhere. Imagine the conversation in the stores, businesses, homes, and streets as people traveled throughout the area and throughout the world.
The impact upon us should be the same. All three responses should characterize our lives as we witness the power of God in changing and healing lives.