Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mark 1:21-28

21 Jesus and his followers went into Capernaum. Immediately on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and started teaching. 22 The people were amazed by his teaching, for he was teaching them with authority, not like the legal experts. 23 Suddenly, there in the synagogue, a person with an evil spirit screamed, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.” 25 “Silence!” Jesus said, speaking harshly to the demon. “Come out of him!” 26 The unclean spirit shook him and screamed, then it came out. 27 Everyone was shaken and questioned among themselves, “What’s this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands unclean spirits and they obey him!” 28 Right away the news about him spread throughout the entire region of Galilee.

Jesus continued his journey across Galilee, taking with him his new followers into Capernaum (which would become Jesus' center of operations). They immediately got to work and on the Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue there and started to teach. Unlike the teachers who relied on legal expertise -- quoting this scholar or that, Jesus spoke as one who had authority of his own. And the people there were really impressed.

Suddenly, while they were in the synagogue, someone who was apparently possessed by an evil spirit started to scream at Jesus. "Jesus of Nazareth, you're not one of us! What are you doing? Are you here to destroy us? Obviously, I know exactly who you are -- the holy one who comes from God."

Jesus told the demon to shut up. And then he commanded it to leave the man. The unclean spirit gave one last scream, caused the man to shake, and then -- it left.

All those who saw this happen were themselves pretty shaken up by the whole encounter. And they began to talk among themselves, asking even more questions about Jesus. "What's going on here? What kind of teaching is this? What kind of authority does he have that he can command unclean spirits -- and they actually obey him?"

Dramatic events like this quickly become the talk of the town. But the reports rapidly went viral throughout the whole district of Galilee.