Summary: Preached on Super Bowl Sunday 2009. Good for anytime, probably best for football season. Jesus teaches two lessons..or two points... One "Be Quiet"..Take time to listen to God... Two "Come out of him"... break free, let go, get rid of something. Somethi
Is everybody here ready for the Superbowl this evening?
It’s Sunday. The Sabbath. Day of rest. The Lord’s Day.
And it is SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!
You know the drill. We all know the drill. This is Super Bowl Sunday, the High Holy Day for whole legions of armchair athletes. For many, this is the most sacred sporting event of a nationwide army of faithful NFL fans.
Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!
Tonight is the battle of the titans, the bone-crushing championship conflict between our country’s greatest gridiron gods. The NFC and the AFC will hurl their most valiant warriors at each other in an orgy of hitting, kicking, running, tackling, passing, catching, punting and praising God.
Wait a minute ... "Praising God"? No way!
Yes, WAY. Have you noticed? Sometimes the NFL sounds a little like a subsidiary of a Christian television station. For all the trouble in the world, it is encouraging to hear some of these well known athletes opening profess their faith.
Have you ever thought of us as a team? We’ve often been referred to as in an army…. As in “Onward Christian Solders.” Today, why don’t we consider ourselves as teammates with Jesus as our quarterback? Teammates, you know the score, the true score, and the victory we have with Jesus. The battle is raging, but the outcome for us is assured. We are on the winning team with Christ.
Some of the players on the winning team in today’s Super Bowl will no doubt give God the glory. But if we think about today’s scripture in a little different way, perhaps we can see…this giving glory to God is really nothing new, and not unique to the NFL.
In today’s lesson from Mark, there is another huddle of sorts, and it takes place in the synagogue in Capernaum. Jesus is teaching….providing the Game Plan for his players. This morning, lets put ourselves in Capernaum in the synagogue, with Jesus preaching… Suddenly, a psychotic stranger jumps on the playing field ... kinda like a streaker running across the 50 yard line… a possessed, raving fan ... a fan-a-tic frothing like a Cleveland Browns dawg.
Getting right in Jesus’ face, he screeches, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?"
Hey buddy, it’s the Sabbath.
"Have you come to destroy us?"
Chill out, friend. This is our day of rest.
"I know who you are," he thunders, "the Holy One of God."
Okay. Jesus has called the play, and not its time to execute!
Jesus knows exactly who’s behind all this shouting and ranting. He drops back… or not…. and lets go a bullet pass of words…..commands really…. "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing the man and crying with a loud voice, comes popping out like a fumbled football.
You see, Jesus, far more so than any quarterback to ever walk out on a football field, Jesus… exudes such authority that even demons obey instantly.
Jesus possesses such poise that even evil forces know that he is the Holy One of God. Jesus is pumped up with such power that even unclean spirits know that his arrival on the field marks the end of the Super Bowl for them, the end of their season of domination over men and women. And the power and authority of Jesus is revealed!
Do you think there is chaos in the world today? Commercials cost a million a pop. The Super Bowl hype has been on for weeks, though, with the inauguration and all the news of the economy, I haven’t heard as much as some years. But surely we are all aware of the chaos all around us in the world today, even in our own communities.
Jesus is not phased by any of this anymore then He was of the man in the Synagogue … He simply takes control. In the center of the huddle, our lives, our church… In Capernaum, Jesus calls the play: a two-point conversion designed to give victory to this demented fan. Point one: Be silent. Point two: Come out of him.
A conversion is a life-changing, life game-winning event. Whether we are talking about that personal conversion which first crafted us into a committed disciple of Jesus Christ, or the conversion which later calls us to reorder our priorities, we probably need to do two things.
First, be quiet -- and listen to the authoritative voice of God. Taking time to be still and quiet and listen for God’s voice, sense His nudging, His will for us.
Second, "Come out of him" -- that is, break free, let go, get rid of something. Something’s always got to give. Everyone of us has something we are holding back.
So how do we execute what the playbook lays out for us? The command to be silent and listen is no small challenge. How often in prayer we ask for what we want, whether it’s victory on the gridiron or vision for a business plan? When a University who shall go unnamed beat their arch rival in overtime, the winning coach declared on ABC-TV that “This was Jesus Christ working through my players"