Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37 JESUS HEALING AN UNCLEAN MAN; TEACHES WITH GREAT AUTHORITY
Jesus, along with the (4) disciples, go to Capernaum [from the Sea of Galilee where Jesus's first 4 disciples began following Him, back to where he now lived] and go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Jesus began teaching with authority, amazing people. Jesus is the authority, the "teachers of the law" only read from the authority (the scrolls). A man possessed by an evil spirit questioned Jesus's intentions, but acknowledges He is the Holy One of God. The evil spirit recognized Jesus for who He is and confronts Him. Sometimes I feel as if the devil recognizes Jesus living in me and confronts me. It seems like the stronger my faith, the more the devil confronts me. Jesus uses words to make the evil spirit come out of the man. God used words only to create. God's words are powerful. I can ask Jesus to rebuke the devil for me.
In Luke 4:34 we read a different version of what Jesus told the unclean spirit which more clearly shows that even the devil acknowledges and believes in the Lord. The unclean spirit (demon-possessed) believed what? Certainly not a faith belief. The belief is in the existence and the power of Holy One of God, not that of saving faith. The unclean spirit knows the truth, but has rejected it personally. On the flip-side, I believe the devil is real, but I do not follow the devil and his ways.
Jesus uses words to make the unclean spirit come out of the man and everyone was amazed and Jesus's fame spread to all of Galilee. For as fast as it spread during Jesus's time, how much faster can news of Jesus spread in today's time with the use of internet. Not only did Jesus teach with authority, but He used his authority to have command over the unclean spirit and the people recognized Jesus as the true God. Many people try to cast out demons, but only Jesus has the authority to make it happen. Jesus has overcome all evil, including satan himself. I should not talk to the devil as I have no authority and to talk to the devil would be an invitation for conversation. Instead, I pray to Jesus to rebuke the devil for me.
Capernaum was the headquarters for many Roman troops, making pagan influences from all over the Roman Empire prominent. Jesus must have stood out being so different.
The unclean spirit, the demon, was in the synagogue. Sometimes we feel a false sense of security in the church, feeling safe from harm. However, the devil lurks in all places.
To teach with authority, one must really believe what they are teaching and really know what they are talking about in order to show confidence. As someone who enjoys teaching, these thoughts are reminders for me to choose when to teach and when not to teach a subject.
It is much better to be "Word possessed!"
It is much better to be "Jesus possessed!"