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June 7, 2020 12:01 am
When Jesus opened His mouth to speak, everyone stopped to listen—even the demons. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his series in Mark to display the holy authority exercised by the Son of God.
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Today on the Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind.
The demons knew that they were under the sentence of God. They knew that when the son of God would appear on the earth that there room would be certain that Christ was coming to bind the strong man to bind Satan with all of his stylish power in the ghost told the Jesus confronted a demon possessed man and the demons held that Jesus command. They knew they were in trouble today Dr. RC Sproul continues his series through Mark's gospel and we will see how our all-knowing, all loving and all-powerful God rules his creation this morning were going to continue with our study of the gospel according to St. Mark, and we are still in the first chapter of that gospel and this morning I will be reading beginning at verse 21 and through verse 34.
So I asked the congregation to stand for the reading of the word of God. Then they went into Capernaum and immediately on the Sabbath. He entered the synagogue and taught and they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes mother 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 that 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 came out of him than 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 and they obey him and immediately his fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee now soon as they come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John, with Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever and they told him about her at once. So he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her, and she served them US ears to hear the word of God, let them hear. Please be seated. After Jesus called his first four disciples. He began his Galilean ministry in Capernaum.
As we read in verse 21 that they went into Capernaum and immediately on the Sabbath. He entered the synagogue and taught. Just take a moment to mention a little background about this town of Capernaum, which was one of many towns along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This was on the northwest side of the lake and it was really the probably the most upscale town in that region at this time and there's quite a bit of evidence that indicates that after Jesus moved away from his childhood home of Nazareth that he made Capernaum his home. There's even further evidence that later. At least he possibly lived in the home of Peter that is mentioned here in the tax that we read today. Capernaum had a seawall of 8 feet that extended for half a mile in the front of the village and there were several peers that extended 100 feet out into the water and so there was a tremendous fishing industry located here in Capernaum as well as a gathering of merchants and artisans, and scribes, and other people. There was also a Roman colony that was friendly to the Jews.
Here in Capernaum. The name of the town Capernaum comes from the Hebrew K fair May home, meaning the village of NATO, which may date back to the days of the Old Testament prophet by that name, that there was a synagogue in Capernaum is without any doubts. In antiquity, all that was required for a synagogue to be established in the village was that there had to be at least 10 Jewish men who were older than 13 years of age to be the required quorum to begin a synagogue and I remember the synagogue was not the temple where people came in Jerusalem for worship, but the synagogue. The name means a place of assembly, a gathering place. It was a place of assembly where the Scriptures were taught not by the leader of the synagogue who was basically an administrator, but the Scriptures, the Torah and the rest of the Scripture. The Old Testament were read and then commented on by various teachers and also by visiting rabbis which Jesus was obviously here. So in the fourth century A.D. we see that the town of Capernaum was still in existence and was still very prosperous, something unusual happened in the fourth century and that is that the synagogue was remodeled almost all of the synagogues in the ancient Palestinian world were constructed of black basalt, the never pretty basic in their building. But as you architects were visiting us this morning will be interested to know in the fourth century, the new synagogue that replace the old one right on its foundation the one that Jesus spoken was built from white limestone that had to be imported and so it was a place of grandeur. At that time and it testifies to the long time in which Capernaum enjoyed a place of prominence there in Galilee. But in any case, it was into Capernaum that Jesus came to begin his ministry there and Galilee and we are told that on the Sabbath. He entered the synagogue and he talked of the significance of this event that Mark wants us to understand very early in his gospel is the character of the teaching ministry of Jesus. Jesus ministry was marked by teaching and by healing and by the casting out of demons. Those were the three elements that distinguished him in the first century ministry and so Mark begins with calling attention to Jesus teaching and most importantly to the response of the people to his teaching. We read that Mark says this that they, that is, the people of Capernaum there in the synagogue were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. A couple of things here. First of all, the reaction of the people to Jesus teaching was one of sheer amazement, but even the word amazement or the word astonishment. Neither of those terms do full justice to the import of the term that is appearing here in the text. The idea is that not only were they surprised they were terrified. There was an element of fear that was part of this amazement or astonishment because they had never ever heard anybody talk like this that Jesus exhibited an authority that was on a whole new plane a whole different level from any kind of authoritative utterance that they had ever been exposed to the city spoke as one having authority, not like the scribes know Bulova describes were not without their own human authority. The scribes were the most learned expositors of the Old Testament law, the scribes were the PhD's in theology who came and rendered their opinions and so their opinions were accorded great weight by those who heard them but now when Jesus speaks, there's a whole new dimension way beyond anything that ever experience with the scribes describe the PhD would give their opinions and they would cite other scholars they would cite the rabbinic tradition, they would try to marshal arguments to support the weight of what it was that they were teaching. Just as we try to do that today in the academic world.
But Jesus didn't do that. No footnotes, no citations, no marshaling of other worldly authorities, but he would be the one that they would put bumper stickers on the chariots after Jesus spoke were saying. Jesus said it that settles it. No, I believe in between. We know that's bad theology. When God says something. The arguments over now. I just want to play for second on the word that is used here. The word translated by authority comes from the Greek. It is a word made up of a root and a prefix exit to see you ask. We all know what that means, that means out of her away from the exit sign points the way out and what were most concerned about is the root of that word, which is the word Siya and if you know anything about Greek you know that Lucy is the present participial form of the verb to be so its literal translation would be being now the ancient Greek philosophers were very much concerned with that word Siya because OCR represented the ultimate reality for which the philosophers were seeking the ultimate transcendent supreme being of all reality. We know that the great controversy that the church went through in the fourth century at Nicaea with respect to their understanding of the person of Christ came to the formulation that Christ was Homo Siya of the same being essence or substance as the father and so this word OCR not just simply a participial form of the verb to be, but is a term loaded with content in the history of Greek thought and in the history of Christian thought.
And so we could translate being as substance so as I said I was in play with this word a little bit when Jesus spoke he spoke ask Luciana out of substance is teaching was supremely substantive.
Nothing superficial, nothing light. This was the utterance of the one who was of the same essence as the father so that Jesus authority. Beloved was that authority rooted and grounded in God himself and that's what terrified the people should never have we heard anybody speak like this was reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets who would preface their statements and their oracles, not by saying in my studied opinion, so-and-so and so-and-so the Old Testament prophets would preface their announcements by what by saying, thus saith the Lord, and he was the Lord himself now the word of God incarnate, rising to speak in the synagogue, rising to speak on matters theological and when he opened his holy mouth. Everyone present was stopped in their tracks, filled with amazement, and pierced by a sense of dread to hear the truths proclaimed with this transcendent finality would just pause for a second essay beloved. That's how we should respond. Every time we hear the word of God. There were not listening describes not listening to preachers were not listening to theologians in our hearts should be filled with the holy dread and awe before the word of God immediately. The transition takes place, to the event followed his teaching is still within the context of the synagogue where Mark tells us that there was a man there in the synagogue with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, let us alone, what are we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth that you come to destroy us. I know who you are, the holy one, of God, so this day in the life of Jesus witnesses in the first place is manifestation of his transcendent authority in teaching and now a further evidence of that power. Because exigency is sometimes translated power as well as authority and we can combine the words X Uzi amines, authoritative power or powerful authority. Now we see the manifestation of that X Uzi at not simply in his verbal address, but in his confrontation with the forces of hell itself. You notice that in the Old Testament the idea of demonic possession is extremely rare. You have very few references to the demonic world in all of the Old Testament and in later church history. There's also very limited reference to it.
But while Jesus was on the earth, all hell broke loose and the involvement and engagement of the demonic representatives and ambassadors of Satan himself were everywhere oppressing people and later we will see the Jesus announces the significance of his work of demon exorcism by saying to his hearers.
If you see me casting out demons by the finger of God, which is a metaphor for the Holy Ghost. If you see me casting out demons by the finger of God than what then you know the kingdom of God has come upon you, so you see the line here. He begins his ministry by announcing the coming of the kingdom of God. Then he manifests the power of that kingdom in his teaching, and now by his confrontation with the world of evil forces and power is also interesting to me to note that if you look not only in Mark's gospel, but in other Gospels. It seems like the first people were the first ones to fully recognize the identity of Christ in the hidden, this of his incarnation are the demons before the people recognize him in his fullness. These ambassadors of hell instantly recognize and so this man whose possess is there in the synagogue and when Jesus turns his attention to him.
This man with the unclean spirit begins to scream saying let us allow it away from us why the plural is because the man is filled with many demons or is this singular demon saying in behalf of himself and the man whose possess is that the reason for the plural. I suspect that what he's talking about is he's representing that whole kingdom under the dominance of the prince of the power of the year, the prince of this world, Satan himself and in behalf of Satan and his legions of demons. This man screams this demon screams against Jesus and get out of Galway. Let us alone you come here to destroy us.
We had to do with us what we had to do with you, will the answer that question is in one sense, absolutely nothing.
The demons had nothing in common with Christ two different realms. The godly realm the ungodly realm the realm that is satanic and demonic realm of God.
Never the twain shall meet. The only relationship these demons have with Christ is one of conflict when we had to do with you. Nothing except now you're confronting your judgment and that's what the demons recognized the demons knew that they were under the sentence of God. They knew that when the son of God would appear on the earth that there room would be certain that Christ was coming to bind the strong man to bind Satan with all of his hellish power and so the six of tanning Junior great demons telling Jesus to leave and then the strange expression. I know you are the holy one of God what's going on here member in the Old Testament the power struggles that would go on between men and men, men and angels. The idea was that if we could get our adversary to reveal his name that that was like an act of submission.
It's like saying uncle when you're in a battle. Remember when Jacob wrestled with the Angels. Tell me your name was asking them to submit so the demons try one last foil here to get rid of Christ. They reveal his identity, thinking that if they name him properly they can defeat him.
We know you are the holy one of God. There's ironing here only once in the Old Testament is anybody called the holy one of God, and it was a man that an angel but a man who was endowed, charismatic leader by the Holy Ghost with incredible strength and power. He was the judge Sampson, who was called the holy one of God strong man and the irony here is that this one who's the holy one of God has come to bind the strong man, the prince of the demons, Satan himself. They realize in the presence of Jesus. They were in the presence of the holy.
Nothing strikes more terror into the heart of creatures than to be in the presence of the holy. We will see this motif throughout the gospel of Mark that when the holiness of Christ is made manifest the immediate straight response is fear and dread. We fear the holy the ultimate xenophobia because we are not holy.
And when we are brought into the presence of the un-veiled holiness of God, like Peter, we say, depart from me, for we are sinful people, so the demons screen. When the holy one of God comes into their presence. Jesus puts up which is so much of the screaming and yelling and protesting.
When he finally reduce them, saying, be quiet now we not supposed to say this in polite company were not supposed to Satan school were not supposed to say it to our children were not supposed to say to each other but a more accurate rendition here would be. Jesus said to these demons shut up shut your mouth I want to hear anymore from you people and come out when the unclean spirit had convulsed in the last shutter of strength cried out with a loud voice one more time, but he came out and everyone was amazed. So the question themselves. The what is this, one of which is seen what new doctrine is this what kind of power has just been made manifest what kind of authority does he used to command even the unclean spirits and they obey him. Jesus didn't act like a magician or shaman shake and rattle a bunch of beads and so on and play games of healing, saying, can you hear me now can you hear me none of those tricks that we see with the charlatans. Jesus just spoke in the demons of because I know he had authority even when the world seems upside down when nothing is going well and it seems that it might not get any better. It's good to be reminded that Jesus has all authority over everything and because of that we as believers have an unfading hope were making her way through the gospel of Mark here in the Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul taught through the entire book when he served as co-pastor of St. Andrews Chapel, Aaron Sanford, Florida.
It's our privilege to bring you his insight into this gospel each week is also a joy to offer you, Dr. Sproles hardbound commentary on Mark. It's a 400 page book. That's a great study companion for your study through the rest of the series will gladly send it to you when you give a donation of any about to look at her ministries and you can make your request when you go online to Renewing Your Mind.org and while you're there at the website. Take a look at the many ways you can listen to Renewing Your Mind. Not only will you find us on radio stations across the country. You can listen to the podcast online and on the free link in your app, there's even an option to have a link to the program email to you every day so look for ways to listen on Renewing Your Mind.work of the Gospels are an encouragement to us because they reveal the amazing life of Jesus next Sunday will return Dr. school series and learn about the astonishing healing ministry of Jesus.
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