Tuesday, January 10th. Mark 1:21-28

They went to Capernaum; and when the Sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. Mark 1:21-28

Capernaum was a little seaside village about 20 miles from Nazareth. Matthew 4:13 tells us that Jesus used Capernaum as his home base during his ministry. Yet here in Mark, Jesus sounds more like a new sensation than a local boy made good. His coming out party begins in worship.

Mark tells us that Jesus’ surprised the crowd by teaching “as one having authority.” The common style of teaching, the style employed by the scribes, was to teach the tradition by drawing upon the collected wisdom of those who had gone before. Scribes would quote the teachings which had been handed down to them. Much like trial lawyers who base their arguments on the accumulated interpretations and applications of the law, scribes were not innovators or expected to draw out fresh new ideas.

Evidently, Jesus’ teaching was different. Not like the scribes. More like the Author. Jesus taught with authority. We see that later when Matthew portrays Jesus’ teaching using phrases like, “You have heard it said…but I say to you.” What Jesus brought was fresh and new. It was good news.

Interestingly, but something we will come to expect in Mark, an unclean spirit which possesses a man in the synagogue instantly recognizes Jesus. The unclean spirit knows that Jesus is the Holy One of God and that Jesus’ presence means the end of the unclean spirit’s welcome. With authority – that is, with the power to get something done – Jesus silences and casts out the unclean spirit.

The people are amazed.

We’re just 28 verses into Mark and already people are amazed by Jesus. A man is newly released from his bondage. A crowd of people have been given fresh insight.

Being amazed is one thing. Following is another.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, you come into our presence in Jesus, bringing fresh insight into our lives, helping us see those who are broken in our midst and giving us hope for healing. You are the Author of life; may we surrender to your authority as you lead and guide us through this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Tuesday, January 10th. Mark 1:21-28”

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