10.27.08, Mark 1:21-28

Posted on October 27, 2008


Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit

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 evil 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 evil 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 evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

A New Teaching

In this passage of Mark, we see the public’s first conception of who Jesus was, that most people saw him as a new teacher with a new teaching.  This isn’t surprising as we know from other gospel accounts that at a young age, Jesus showed amazing mastery of the Word.  Also, we know from John’s gospel that there is some intimate, eternal connection between Jesus and the logos, or the Word.  So people were definitely correct in their perception of Jesus.

But how many teachers do you know can also command spirits to leave people with only a word?  He is a great teacher, but obviously so much more.

When I think about God’s character, I think about it as some strange zero sum game, that he is either one way or another.  I emphasize a sole element of his character at a time, and at the expense of other sides of who he is.  Jesus is a great teacher…no, He is a righteous JUDGE…no no, he’s a loving Father.  None of these is wrong, but none of these alone is a complete understanding of who Jesus is.  Like in this passage, our understanding of God needs expansion, that he is a Teacher and a Judge and a Father and even more.  For many of us, God is not different from who we think he is, he is more than we think he is.

Questions:

1. When you think about God, how do you usually see him, as a Teacher?  A Friend?  A Father?  A God?  Why do you think this is?

2. Out of the different conceptions of God’s character that you are aware of, which is the hardest for you to remember or relate to?  Why do you think this is?

3. Why do you think it is important or useful to have an expanded, larger understanding of God’s character?

4. Is there a situation in your life where this larger understanding of God would be useful or appropriate?  In what ways does reshape how you see that situation?

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Posted in: Uncategorized
2 Responses “10.27.08, Mark 1:21-28” →

  1. chomomma

    October 27, 2008

    Would Jesus’s action be considered as “exorcism”? He did, after all, cast the demons from the man’s soul. I’ve seen some other references to exorcisms by Jesus and some of his disciples, so then why is exorcism such a forbidden practice today? I know the spiritual war is fought with the armor we put on ourselves through faith in Christ, but what if we leave open spots in the armor to let the devil inside? Are we not allowed to cast the demons out?


  2. peterwchin

    October 29, 2008

    by all means, we have complete authority to cast demons out. this is biblical, and it happens all the time, in both Catholic and Protestant circles, and it happens quite often in charismatic churches and churches overseas. i have more personal examples, if you want to know about them.

    but to see our real problem as western Christians, we actually need to take a step back, and realize that there really is a spiritual battle taking place. most of us just ignore this dynamic of our spiritual life, and it is willful ignorance which is our first battle.

10.27.08, Mark 1:21-28

Posted on October 27, 2008


Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit

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 evil 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 evil 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 evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

A New Teaching

In this passage of Mark, we see the public’s first conception of who Jesus was, that most people saw him as a new teacher with a new teaching.  This isn’t surprising as we know from other gospel accounts that at a young age, Jesus showed amazing mastery of the Word.  Also, we know from John’s gospel that there is some intimate, eternal connection between Jesus and the logos, or the Word.  So people were definitely correct in their perception of Jesus.

But how many teachers do you know can also command spirits to leave people with only a word?  He is a great teacher, but obviously so much more.

When I think about God’s character, I think about it as some strange zero sum game, that he is either one way or another.  I emphasize a sole element of his character at a time, and at the expense of other sides of who he is.  Jesus is a great teacher…no, He is a righteous JUDGE…no no, he’s a loving Father.  None of these is wrong, but none of these alone is a complete understanding of who Jesus is.  Like in this passage, our understanding of God needs expansion, that he is a Teacher and a Judge and a Father and even more.  For many of us, God is not different from who we think he is, he is more than we think he is.

Questions:

1. When you think about God, how do you usually see him, as a Teacher?  A Friend?  A Father?  A God?  Why do you think this is?

2. Out of the different conceptions of God’s character that you are aware of, which is the hardest for you to remember or relate to?  Why do you think this is?

3. Why do you think it is important or useful to have an expanded, larger understanding of God’s character?

4. Is there a situation in your life where this larger understanding of God would be useful or appropriate?  In what ways does reshape how you see that situation?

Posted in: Uncategorized
2 Responses “10.27.08, Mark 1:21-28” →

  1. chomomma

    October 27, 2008

    Would Jesus’s action be considered as “exorcism”? He did, after all, cast the demons from the man’s soul. I’ve seen some other references to exorcisms by Jesus and some of his disciples, so then why is exorcism such a forbidden practice today? I know the spiritual war is fought with the armor we put on ourselves through faith in Christ, but what if we leave open spots in the armor to let the devil inside? Are we not allowed to cast the demons out?


  2. peterwchin

    October 29, 2008

    by all means, we have complete authority to cast demons out. this is biblical, and it happens all the time, in both Catholic and Protestant circles, and it happens quite often in charismatic churches and churches overseas. i have more personal examples, if you want to know about them.

    but to see our real problem as western Christians, we actually need to take a step back, and realize that there really is a spiritual battle taking place. most of us just ignore this dynamic of our spiritual life, and it is willful ignorance which is our first battle.

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