Mark 1: 21-28: ‘Deliver us from evil.’
“21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 ‘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!’ 25 ‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 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 impure spirits and they obey him.’ 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.” NIV UK
Note three things:
- The authority of Jesus: People noticed a radical difference between Jesus and their regular preachers. The speakers they were used to spoke ‘on’ authority, regularly quoting sources such as Moses or another rabbi. Jesus, however, spoke ‘with’ authority. He carried a marked personal authority: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you…’
- The authority of the preacher: No preacher today is the same as Jesus; but the more time we spend with Him, listening to Him, the more likely we are to speak the words we have heard from Him. The more surrendered we are to Jesus, the more likely it is that we will speak with an authority that comes from Him and glorifies Him. This is the anointing. It is not about shouting or pacing a platform. There is a quiet, compelling note of authority about those who walk with Jesus, and others take note that we have been with Him;
- The triumph over the devil: As someone said, it was like the evil spirits had an ‘inside track’ on what was to happen to them. The exorcism here was a pre-figuring of the total conquest over evil that was to take place at the cross.We still see much evil in the world – terrible, malignant evil. But it’s time is limited; its era will be short-lived. The cross says that the day is coming when all evil will be banished from the universe. In the mean time, we believers know we’re in a fight; but it’s a fight from victory – not for it. The decisive battle has already been won at Calvary.