Year 2 Day 44
Read - Mark 1:21-28
Message - Alan Burke
I want you to notice something as we work through Mark’s gospel. It is likely something that you have already picked up on and that is the speed at which it moves from one thing to the next. Look to verse 12 we are told after Jesus baptism “at once” he was driven into the wilderness, then verse 18 “at once”, verse 20 “without delay”, verse 23 “just then”, verse 28 “quickly”, verse 29 “as soon as”, verse 42 “immediately”. All different ways of portraying the same thing, in fact in the greek it is the same word that is used in each case and it is also used in verse 10, 21 and verse 30.
All of this because the Kingdom of God is near and this message is one of urgency for the King had come. He came to call the unexpected and here we are told how he is one with authority. When Jesus called the first disciples his authority is shown but here it is told to us explicitly in verse 22 and 27. We are not told what Jesus taught in these verses that’s not what mattered, rather it is the authority he had. For he preached as one who knew the very mind of God and was commissioned as the Son of God to declare it.
Mark shows that Jesus does not simply announce the coming reign of God and the end of the reign of Satan; he brings it about, the beginning of this reign of God in the world as it had begun to impact in the lives of individuals. This the first clash with Satan’s minions following the temptation was ultimately a no-contest event, it’s like pitting a toddler against Tyson Fury it’s over before its even begun. Here Jesus disarms Satan’s power that has been pirating human souls and sets the victims free one by one. As he casts out the evil spirit demonstrating the kingdom of God is at hand and this world of darkness which is Satan’s realm was being routed.
Jesus, is the one with authority, here he shows it in his teaching and his authority over the evil spirit. We may not see it this way initially but we will see it as we continue through the Mark’s gospel that Jesus at the outset of his public ministry challenging not only the power of Satan but the religious establishment. This isn’t the Jesus Children’s story book idea of Jesus that many have in their head, instead Jesus was challenging and confrontational to bring the truth of the good news of the gospel, the necessity to repent and believe that good news. It would lead him on a collision course with not only with Satan and his minions, with civil authorities but also with the religious leaders.
What do we learn from what happens here? Well when the word of God is preach and taught faithfully there will be confrontation, here it was seen in the evil sprit opposing Jesus and we will see that more and more in chapter 2. Those who proclaim the truth of the gospel will experience opposition as long as they hold Christ high, you too will face opposition for holding on to the truth of Christ in your life. Ultimately this is because none of us like it when our sin is revealed for what it is. Yet in all of this we have hope, for Christ can change even the hardest hearts, those who are violently opposed to him like the man with the evil spirit or like Saul who become Paul. There may be someone you know and love, they may have a hard heart, it seems impenetrable, irredeemable, impossible. Yet the Gospel of Christ can free even the hardest heart from the bondage of sin, from the evil that controls it. Be on your knees for those whom you know and love crying out for the gospel of Christ to work by the Spirit.
Q54 What is required in the third commandment?
The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God’ s names, (Matt. 6:9, Deut. 28:58) titles, (Ps. 68:4) attributes, (Rev. 15:3–4) ordinances, (Mal. 1:11,14) Word, (Ps. 138:1–2) and works. (Job 36:24)