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Jesus in Capernaum (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 25, 2021 6:00 am

Jesus in Capernaum (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 25, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:21-34)

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Rabbinical Judaism means they departed from Moses and the prophets and they were really going by everything the rabbis would say.

And of course the rabbis would say they were following Moses and the prophets but you look at all of the laws they created and the burdens they put on the people and you realize that is not so. Now that's a very important part of what we're saying because we go now to verse 22, and they were astonished at his teaching for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Gospel of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick as he teaches in the Gospel of Mark chapter one and a brand new message called Jesus in Capernaum. We are in the Gospel according to Mark chapter one. If you have your Bibles, please turn. We will take verses 21 to 34 beginning in verse 21. Then they went into Capernaum and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.

They were astonished at his teaching for he had taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit and he cried out saying, Let us alone. What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth?

Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God. Jesus rebuked him saying, Be quiet and come out of him. When the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. Then they were all amazed so that they questioned among themselves saying, What is this?

What new doctrine is this? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits they obey him. Immediately his fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee. Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.

But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever. They told him about her at once. So he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up.

Immediately the fever left her and she served them. That evening when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were demon possessed and the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then he healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons.

And he did not allow the demons to speak because they knew him. Jesus in Capernaum, that's what we are considering. And if you're doing a book on sermons, you'd have to make the titles exciting.

But going verse by verse, you want to make it educational. And we did Jesus in Galilee and Capernaum is in Galilee. But it's now narrowed down to this particular village, this little city you could even say. In verse 21, then they went into Capernaum and immediately on the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and taught. Now where they entered, they went into Capernaum, this is an important little village.

It's a fishing village. It's also a trading area and a Roman polling tax station. I don't point that out because Matthew, the tax collector, is called to follow Jesus here in Capernaum as well as the other four apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, and John.

They were also called here. It became the center of Jesus' ministry. In fact, Matthew in the ninth chapter refers to Capernaum as his own city.

That's how much work he put into Capernaum. But in the end, he is going to pronounce a judgment on them. Where Mark says, and immediately here in verse 21, again is his word, again, depicting the rapid movement of Christ through this synoptic gospel. On the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and taught. This synagogue apparently was built by Roman soldiers. We read in Luke, for example, of one of the centurions, for he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.

Now you can go to Capernaum today. The ruins have been excavated, and there you can see a synagogue that is probably built a few hundred years after these events, but it's right on top of the synagogue that Jesus is preaching in right here in this story. And there's a passageway there. It's all stone, the ruins, and I entered that passageway, and I didn't know it was for someone shorter than me, and I stood up hard, and I still have a bruise on my noggin. I almost knocked myself out.

If it wasn't for the embarrassment or the fear of someone giving me mouth to mouth, I might have gone ahead and just fell down. Anyway, they ought to put a warning sign there. This is hard stone. It'd be worth the time to go on the internet and look at the synagogue in Capernaum. Anyway, this preaching on the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and taught. Preaching was paramount to the Lord, and it was his habit to enter synagogues and teach. Paul picked this up.

Paul could do it. He was a rabbi. He would be invited as he was, and we read about that in the book of Acts, to preach. And so we have frequently in connection to Christ in the synagogue the mention of him teaching. Now the synagogue was not the same as the temple.

Temple was another experience, and it was not meant to eclipse the temple. But it was the place where teaching took place, and they would read from the Torah, the books, one of the first five books of Moses they would select, and then they would read from the prophets, and they would have a sermon. They would pronounce the blessing on the people. An interesting part about this is that they likely did not do any singing in the ancient synagogues. It was centered on prayer and the ministry of the word, and it goes back to even the days before Ezra the priest. And the rabbis, of course, had hijacked Judaism. Thus the saying, well, the phrase rabbinical Judaism means they departed from Moses and the prophets, and they were really going by everything the rabbis would say. And of course the rabbis would say they were following Moses and the prophets, but you look at all of the laws they created and the burdens they put on the people, and you realize that is not so. Now that's a very important part of what we're saying, because we go now to verse 22, and they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Yeah, well, they were actually getting sermons from the scripture. That's why they were astonished at his teaching. They weren't getting a ritual and a list of do's and don'ts, or mostly don'ts with the rabbinical rabbis or Judaism. And he did not, another interesting thing, he did not start off denouncing the tradition of the elders. He did later, but for now he ignored it.

We'll get to that. So again, it says here in verse 22 that they were astonished or blown away by his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority. The anointing was on him. He gave them God's word from a man that was evidently to them God-centered.

He wasn't giving them his opinions about religion. He was giving them understanding about their holy scriptures. And again, this Judaism, rabbinical Judaism had long ago departed from their scripture as authorities, and the rabbis taught nonsense in scripture's name. And we see that today in churches. We see churches that have departed from the scripture but continue to use Jesus' name as they go ahead and broadcast their opinions that really are often, or very often, blatantly contrary to what Christ taught. Matthew chapter 15, Jesus said, These people draw near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. So here you have people. I mean, there has to be a real element to everything we come across in scripture.

There's something I can understand and relate to. Here the folks are wanting God in their lives, and they're depending on their leaders, their spiritual leaders, to invest themselves in God and stand before them with the word of God and bring them, say something that's going to light candles in the dark, to awaken something in them, to stir them, to make them better at serving, to be part of the processes that draw us closer to God and help keep us there, to uphold the many truths of scripture. And they weren't getting this. The ideas of men were drowning out the voice of God. And that's why we encourage believers to bring their Bibles to church, but that's not enough. It's not enough just to know the word. There's so much more into serving the Lord and growing in Christ than just the Bible, but not without it.

It is paramount. Otherwise, we would have just read, and they continued in the apostles' doctrine, and that would have been it, but that's not it. There was prayer.

There was that walk with Christ, and there is the fellowship of the saints. So he points out, Mark does, not as the scribes. Well, he lived in those days. Mark was a lad during this time, but he grew up in the synagogues. He knew what was going on, and he knew what was missing, and he heard Jesus preach. Peter, likely the one telling these things to Mark, of course Peter grew up in these synagogues, and it had become dead religion, dead orthodoxy, just ritual.

No flame, no love, no heart for God. Not as the scribes, says Mark. He taught them with authority, unlike their other teachers, who lacked authority because they had departed from Scripture. And these scribes, they were originally raised up to guard the Scripture from corruption and to keep it in circulation. They were meticulous, counting every word and every page, and they did a great job. We have the Old Testament largely because of scribes.

But that, again, is not enough. That is not to say they were all wicked men, but they were failing as a group, and it was not only the scribes, it was the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the lawyers and others. They just weren't excited, energized by their faith because they were so focused on rules.

They are rules that belong to faith, of course, but this is life also. Is Christ real? Is he real to you? Maybe you've been walking with Christ for decades.

Is he still real to you? Maybe you're just playing games. You come to church and you really don't mean it. You don't love him. You don't seek him. You'd rather listen to some stranger or something on the internet or somebody else, but not God's word. You'd rather listen to indecent people corrupt God's word. If that's you, if you sit in front of your computer or something else and you let the godless people corrupt your faith, then a hand needs to come out of that computer and smack you upside your head.

It'd be better that that happened to you than you go to hell thinking that you're right in rejecting the one who loves you and died to save your soul. These were formally educated preachers, but they had become inferior as preachers because they were formally misguided. Even the enemies of Christ at hearing him preach when they were sent to arrest him came back. They did not arrest him in that event.

They came back and said, never! A man spoke like this. Well, what distinguished him? Again, he preached God's word. The scripture to Christ was not a token reading. You go to some churches, they just read something from the scripture because they're supposed to do that. And then they go off and do whatever they want to do. That's not right.

It shouldn't be that way. As a boy attending a denominational church, nothing wrong with the denomination in and of itself, but there were the candle lightings, there were the altar boys, there were the readings of all the people who were in the hospital or just died, but there was no word of God. And I would wonder, where's the word of God? I got more scripture from my mom than I ever got from the pastors there. Matthew, in his 23rd chapter, says this about rabbinical Judaism, for they, well of course the Lord is speaking but Matthew records it, for they bind heavy burdens hard to bear and lay them on men's shoulders but they themselves will not move them with one of the fingers.

One of their own fingers, that is. So we listen to this and we say, this is how not to do Christianity. Let me find out what my role is in Christ to help make sure that this does not happen to us.

And I think it is a problem that if there are those that attend, there are churchgoers that support churches that aren't interested in God's word. You need to withdraw yourself from that. You need to not support them. What is wrong with you?

Do not enable them. There are enough other churches around to preach God's word, that do preach God's word. Verse 23 now, now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit and he cried out throughout the Lord's ministry of Christ, our Jesus, as he walked. His ministry was contested by Satan. I think there was unprecedented demonic activity in the days of Christ.

And it, hell had mobilized to oppose what God was doing. The idea of evil spirits menacing humans and then using those humans to menace those who want God is not new to us. And even in those days there was a such thing as exorcisms, not as Hollywood would portray it, but people trying to deal with demonic activity in human beings. In fact, in the Dead Sea Scrolls there are, there's a formula in the scrolls to deal with those who are under demonic influences. And the scrolls, of course, go back 250 years before Christ and here Christ is going to distinguish himself as separate from those who would perform exorcism of his day with their incantations. He's just going to come out and demand that the evil spirit leaves and he will. Now remember, as we look at the miracles and the teaching of Christ, he is saying, I am Messiah. I am the one.

There is nobody that does what I do and there will not be one after me who does what I do. And there were those Jews that caught it and there were those Gentiles that got it. But the nation itself did not. They rejected him. They cried for Barabbas instead of their Messiah. They had, the only thing Barabbas offered them was rebellion against Rome, foreigners, with the hope of establishing a Jewish kingdom like the Maccabees, revolting against the foreigners in their land.

That's all he had. Christ, he had a life that matched the Old Testament prophets in every way. And yet, because of their ignorance of the word, their refusal to receive the word, they missed it. He cried out, it tells us, in verse 23. This devil, the teaching of the scribes never got him to cry out in the middle of the service evidently, but Christ comes in and the preaching of Christ gets him to protest out loud in front of everyone. This devil seems to have behaved himself in the assembly, in an assembly again that avoided the word of God. But this changed when the voice of God is heard, preaching with authority of scripture. The word of God disturbs devils to this day. To this day, there are those that will go into a church and hear God's word preached and cry out, leave us alone.

I didn't care for that. It's bigoted. He's a bigot or he's a this or he's a that, simply because they don't want to hear God's word. God's word is to rescue sinners who side with devils, to get them to stop siding with devils, which is what is going on here. Verse 24, saying this is the demon speaking through the man, let us alone. What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us?

I know who you are, the Holy One of God. There's so much here to comment on. There's so much going on. Here's the devil in the church.

That makes it close to us. The devil in the synagogue, that made it close to them. On a Sabbath day, taking opportunity to disrupt the service. Why do some people think this is acceptable?

Because it still goes on. The unclean spirits in church still cry out, don't interfere with me. Many will perish on Judgment Day because they wanted Jesus to leave them alone. Gypsy Smith was an evangelist. He died in 1947, born in the 1860s, I believe, and his sermons are available.

I think you can get them online or in bookstores. Gypsy Smith has this to say, not about this particular event, but a latter event we'll get with the devil's also trying to disrupt the ministry of Christ. Gypsy says this, you would rather be let alone. You don't thank me or anybody else for telling you the truth. And the devil within you cries out, as it did to the Son of God, let us alone, torment us not. You know what I get about that right this moment as I'm reading his words?

You don't thank me or anybody else for telling you the truth. How many children are raised to love the Lord and they throw their parents under the bus and they go listen to some doofus outside that could use a nice beat down from a pastor like me. And they think this is okay. They think that there's really not a devil with fangs and all who hates their guts messing with their head. They think they're getting away with it because the ground doesn't open up and swallow them.

They think that their parents are lying to them. Or maybe it's, maybe it's not a parent. Maybe it's a co-worker.

Maybe it's a friend. Who knows who. It doesn't matter who's preaching the truth. Who are you turning on for preaching the truth? And you won't even thank them. You won't even say thank you for trying to keep me out of a real hell that doesn't end one day. That's where I'll be if I keep saying to Christ leave me alone. And it just breaks our heart.

We keep fighting this war that seems to be stacked against us. Evil spirits that try to silence the voice of God. And in its place you will get one lifetime of fake fun and then you get nothing. That's what hell has for you.

Nothing. And you're going to see before this devil leaves this person, he's going to convulse him. In other words, he could care spit about this person.

People don't get that. I saw a very dumb saying by a man that was very smart. The witty Mark Twain. Mark Twain, who as human wit goes, he was extraordinary. Mark Twain said, I would go to heaven for the climate but hell for the company. You fool.

You'll regret that right now. Mark Twain's not writing books anymore. He is suffering an eternal judgment for such dim-witted saying, saying out of the heart as that. What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth, did you come to destroy us? You've got nothing to do with him but you understand he knew who Christ was.

There are those today that know who Christ is and still reject him. Evil demands permission to be evil. We learn that not only in the Garden of Eden but the book of Job. Not only in the book of Job.

We learn it in our own lives. Evil wants to do evil and doesn't want anybody to do anything about it. That's what this devil is saying right now. Incidentally, the pronouns have changed. It is now, it goes from leave us alone to I. He starts talking about himself and that's because he's taken over the individual.

So if we go back and we read it, let us alone, what have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth, did you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You see how the pronoun moves?

I know. The man was a victim. He was in bondage.

He was in prison. Luke's gospel, Jesus says, I will show you whom you should fear. Fear him who after he has killed has power to cast into hell.

Yes, I say to you, fear him. You see, people who don't fear God think it's okay to resist him. And Christ is saying, listen to me, killing the body is not really the big thing. It's the soul. It's what happens to you after. The worst thing that can happen to a human being is not death and it is not torture. It is eternal condemnation. The best thing that can happen to a human being is to be right with God. We call it salvation.

We use the phrase so much, maybe it's lost its emphasis with some. What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? What an obnoxious, blasphemous being this is, speaking to God the Son, knowing who he's speaking to. He says, I know who you are. There again is a switch of pronouns. So at first, the demon speaks as joined to the man and then he speaks as overruling the man.

That's what Satan will do if you just let him, very subtle. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the Book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the Book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-11 11:51:33 / 2023-12-11 12:00:38 / 9

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