Mark: According to
Mark 1:21 – 28
I Know Who You Are, The Holy One of God
21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 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!” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 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 and even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
Mark uses the word “Immediately” more than any other gospel writer, sometimes even to the point of making us believe that one event preceded another within a real short period of time. We might actually think that of this passage, for according to our last post, Andrew, James, John, and Peter, left all and started falling Jesus and immediately they were in the synagogue. The implication would be that they then were working on the Sabbath and that would be inconsistent with the rest of scripture. Mark is trying to indicate that it was after the call of these disciples within the same week that they were in the Synagogue.
It was the custom within the synagogue, (the meeting place for religious instruction and teaching) that visiting dignitaries or visiting teacher would be asked to stand up and read from the scriptures. If no visitors were present, then another member of the congregation would be asked to read the scripture. Typically, they were asked to read and then the teacher (Scribe) would expound upon this passage that was read, teaching the people or giving instruction on how one should live their life.
It all sounds very familiar to the way some churches to it today. Someone stands up to read the morning scripture reading and minister or pastor stands up to expound upon it. Christ whose fame was growing throughout the region came to worship in the synagogue and was asked to read the passage for the day. However, instead of just reading, he then explained to the eagerly listening crowd what the meaning behind the scripture truly meant.
What Jesus was saying seemed so different from the scribes who typically expounded upon the scriptures. There was a depth and knowledge as though Jesus himself had originally wrote the scriptures. And Yes, through divine inspiration he had written the scriptures through his prophets. Not direct word for word inspiration, but Holy men of God wrote in their own words, using the language and customs of their time to explain the great truths and prophecies that had been revealed to them.
Think upon this a moment, Christ filled with love and humility is now standing before the worshipers in the synagogue explaining the truths as he had originally intended the scriptures to be understood. Imagine if you had been there, wouldn’t you sit spell bound soaking it all in.
Then is it any wonder that Satan or rather one of Satan’s unclean spirits upon hearing all this, and seeing all this, wouldn’t he attempt to disrupt what is being said by Christ. Wouldn’t he want to take the focus off Jesus? So, as they were sitting there listening suddenly “There was a man in the 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!’”
At Christ’s baptism the Holy Spirit had ascended upon Jesus and a voice from heaven, the very voice of God the Father acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God. There were a few of Jesus’ disciples that had been followers of John. It is unclear from scripture, how much they saw or understood what had happened with Jesus at His baptism. But now, Jesus’ disciples and all present in the synagogue on this Sabbath Morning who had been so impressed with the teaching of Christ, now hear this man speaking, but it really wasn’t the voice this man usually used, it was the voice of unclean spirit crying out, and with a loud voice, they acknowledge that Jesus is from Nazareth, and that Jesus is the “Holy One of God.”
They asked of Jesus, “What have we to do with You, have you come to destroy us?” The simple answer was yes, but not in the way one might think. Jesus came to show the contrast between heavenly love and the corruption of the world. He came to show the world and all the universe the contrast between the true love of the Father as shown in the life of Christ and the hatred of Satan toward the Father, Jesus and humanity. So it was not God’s purpose to kill Satan, but to show us all how much hatred Satan has toward God. And when the victory was one, and the final battle ends, then Satan and his evil host will be done away with and all this suffering and death that we are all subject to will come to an end.
As it was when Christ was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, so it was now as well. The unclean spirit thought that perhaps he could get the people to turn against Jesus if he directly stated who Jesus truly was, for he called Jesus the “Holy One of God.”
Quite the statement and therefore should have alarmed the people greatly and if not for the calming influence of the Holy Spirit working on the hearts of the people, they might have rose up against Jesus.
Jesus never wanting that anyone should suffer, especially under the influence of an evil spirit, Jesus rebuked the spirit by saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
It was quite the struggle as the unclean spirit caused the man to convulse and even cry out with a loud voice but he did come out of him.
27 “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, and they obey Him.’ 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.”
This was the second of Christ’s seven Sabbath Miracles. The first is recorded in John chapter 5 the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15).
We will pick up this theme of Sabbath miracles up again in our next post with the healing of Peter’s.