As we continue our look at the Gospel of Mark, I want to pick up on the theme that Jesus traveled throughout Israel proclaiming the Gospel, the Good News, of the kingdom of God. The first place we’re specifically told about is a village called Capernaum.
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “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!”
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
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.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
The first thing I see is the amazement of the people. There was something about how Jesus taught that was different from everyone else.
The other teachers they listened to were mostly scribes, who had no teaching authority of their own. They would refer back to the writings of famous Rabbis of the past. They would give long quotes adding no insight of their own.
That’s a far cry from hearing a teaching from the living Word of God. The Lord didn’t need to fall back on what somebody else said. He knew exactly what the desired result was when He inspired the Scripture.
Consequently, when they listened to Christ, their hearts were changed. They understood that they were hearing from the mind of God Himself.
There was, however, an even greater demonstration of the authority in His words. A man who was under demonic possession was delivered simply by the words that Jesus spoke. No hype, no theatrics, just, “Be quiet and come out of him!”
It was visibly confirmed that the Gospel that Jesus preached was the true Word of God. Please don’t get the idea that this was just something for the Lord to do. This is what the Holy Spirit wants for all who preach and teach. Listen to how Paul describes it.
I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
I don’t believe that the Gospel – the Good News of Christ – can be fully proclaimed without the confirmation of signs, miracles, and healings. This is how the early church grew. It’s what the world around us needs to see.
But that requires us to spend time with the Holy Spirit; hearing His voice. Then, we may walk in the authority that only comes from being in the presence of God. This is where the Father is leading us in this generation.
Question: Why does a demonstration of power increase the effectiveness of the Gospel?
© 2017 Nick Zaccardi