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THE POWER OF THE AMAZING SERVANT
Intro: When Jesus appeared on the scene preaching and teaching, He caused quite a stir! When the people heard His words and saw His works, they were left “astonished, v. 22 and “amazed, v. 27. When they heard Him speak they said, “Never man spake like this. When they saw Him work they said, “We never saw it on this fashion. Jesus left them dumbfounded by His power and by His teaching.
In our last study we went with Jesus to the synagogue on a Sabbath morning. While He was there, He taught the people with power and authority. Jesus was amazing in His preaching. As we continue to follow the Lord through the events of that one Sabbath day, we are going witness some more areas where Jesus is truly amazing.
Our text today finds Jesus still in the synagogue. He is teaching the Word of God in power. The people are sitting there with their mouths hanging open in amazement at the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s rejoin Jesus in the synagogue and consider the rest of the events that occurred on that one Sabbath day.
The events that took place in that synagogue, and the events that took place during the rest of that day, show us once more why Jesus Christ is so amazing. Verses 21-22 allowed us to examine the preaching of the amazing servant. The verses we have read today will allow us to examine The Power Of The Amazing Servant. These verses reveal some of the areas of life where our Lord possesses amazing power. I want to take these verses and preach for a while on The Power Of The Amazing Servant.
I. v. 23-28 HE HAS POWER OVER DEMONS
A. As Jesus preaches, He is interrupted by a demon possessed man. The demon uses the man’s vocal cords, causing him to scream. The demon declares his awareness of just Who Jesus is. The demon declares Jesus to be the Messiah. Jesus rebukes the demon and frees the possessed man from the demon’s grip.
This amazing scene has some lessons to teach us, if we will receive them.
B. What is a demon? Liberal theologians would say that the people in Bible times were unsophisticated and thought that people with mental problems were demon possessed. They go on to say that Jesus knew better, but He played along with their superstitious beliefs. That would make Jesus and the writers of the Gospels liars.
In reality, demons are the fallen angels that followed Satan when he rebelled against God, Isa. 14:11-15; Eze. 28:12-19; Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:1-13. These demons possess the power to inhabit the bodies of unsaved people. Demons possess people in order to use their physical bodies to carry out the will of the devil. This truth is indicated by Eph. 2:2-3.
Demon possession was something Jesus encountered on a regular basis during His earthly ministry. It may be that Satan was actively trying to disrupt what Jesus was doing, and that demonic activity was more prominent then than it is now. The truth is, demonic activity is very prevalent today. I have no doubt that much of the evil in this world is perpetrated by people who are possessed, impressed and controlled by the devil.
C. We also need to note that the demon both recognized Jesus and His authority to deal with demons, v. 24. The demons know Jesus; they know His power, and they fear Him, James 2:19.
It is sad, but often demons have more respect for the Lord Jesus than lost people. Billions of people around this world refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Lord Jesus and they refuse to bow to His power. They have less sense than a devil!
D. Jesus rebuked the devil and said “hold thy peace and come out of him, v. 25. The phrase “hold thy peace literally means be muzzled. Jesus told the demon to shut up and to vacate the premises. The demon immediately obeyed the Lords command and left the body of the poor possessed man.
Why did Jesus cast out the demon, when the demon was telling the truth about Jesus? Jesus did not want to be identified with the devil, but with the Heavenly Father! He refused to receive the testimony of demons. Jesus did not come to save the fallen angels. He came to save fallen people. He came to save winners. What gives Him the most glory is a redeemed sinner testifying to His power and His identity.
E. When the people witnessed the power of Jesus to cast out the demon, they were left “amazed, v. 27. That word means “to astonish, to frighten, to render motionless. They were riveted in their places when they saw Jesus do this. I get the idea that this was not the first time this fellow had showed at the synagogue and had disrupted the service. But, this was the first time they had ever seen anyone take authority of a devil and deliver someone from Satans grip.
When they saw what Jesus could do, they began to spread the word about Him all over the countryside, v. 28. Neighbors began to tell neighbors and before long, everyone in that area heard about the Lord Jesus and what He could do.
F. I want to point out a couple of important principles before we leave these first verses.
· First, there are no hopeless cases with Jesus! Regardless of how low into sin a person has fallen; regardless of how firm a grip Satan may have on them; regardless of the power of their addictions or the vileness of their sins, there is power in Jesus to save them and deliver them from the grip of sin and Satan, Eph. 2:1-10. That person the world views as beyond saving is the very person He came to save! If you will look at the Bible, you will see case after case that appeared hopeless. In every case, Jesus was able to save that soul and change that life.
Consider Saul of Tarsus. He hated Jesus and he did everything in His power to destroy the church and the Gospel, Acts 7:58-8:3. God saved Saul by His grace and changed his life, Acts 9:1-30. The man who so violently opposed Jesus became the mightiest weapon in the Lord’s arsenal in those days.
As we continue to move through the verses of Mark, we are going to witness person after person that appeared to be hopeless cases. We are going to watch Jesus save them and change them by His power.
So, never give up! Jesus has the power to save anyone who will repent of their sins and believe the Gospel, Heb. 7:25; John 6:37.
· Second, in Jesus’ day the people just weren’t excited about the synagogue! It was always the same, dull, boring and a waste of time. When Jesus came and worked in power, the people left the synagogue excited about what they had heard and seen. They spread the word and multitudes responded, v. 33-34.
The world is tired of the church! They are sick to death of our legalism, our ritualism, and our hypocrisy. They watch us live and they see no difference between us and them. They hear us preach and they believe that we are out of touch. We speak a different language, we preach a strange message and we do weird things, from their perspective.
What the world is looking for is not business as usual from the church. What the world is looking for is the power of God! When the church becomes a place where the Holy Ghost is moving in power, doing the unusual and changing lives for the glory of God, they will come! When we preach our message in the power of Go, the people will respond!
As a church, we could do nothing better than to get on our faces before God and seek His presence and His power in these days! We do not need a new Bible. We do not need a new style of music. We do not need PowerPoint slides; coffee and doughnuts; and small group meeting. We need the power of God and the presence of the Holy Ghost!
I believe it was John Wesley who was asked about his popularity. His response was to say, “I just get myself on fire and the people come to watch me burn.” That will work for the church in these days too! If we will ever get on fire, the world will come to watch us burn!
(Ill. One night a church caught on fire and was burning to the ground. As the Pastor watched it burn, he noticed a man standing in the crowd watching the church burn. The Pastor recognized the man, because he had invited him to church many times with no success. The Pastor went to him and said, “I’ve invited you to come to this church many times, but you never came. Why are you here tonight? The man replied, Well, I’ve never seen this church on fire before! There is a lot of truth in that illustration!)
II. v. 29-31 HE HAS POWER OVER DISRUPTIONS
A. When the services were over at the synagogue, Jesus went home with Peter and Andrew. The synagogue usually let out around noon, and it was customary to have a family meal after services on the Sabbath. When they arrived at Peter’s house, they found his mother-in-law sick with a fever.
It does not appear that her fever was life threatening, but it left her incapacitated and unable to prepare the noon meal for the family. Instead of coming home to a feast, they came home to a woman with a fever.
They tell Jesus about the sickness, and He walks over and heals Peter’s mother-in-law. She gets up and goes to work getting the meal ready.
B. This is an amazing scene! They have just left the synagogue, where Jesus claimed the victory over a devil, now they enter a home where He is faced with a simple fever. Neither situation proved to be a problem for the Lord Jesus!
If this passage teaches us anything, it teaches us that nothing is beyond the scope of His ability. There is no disruption too great and there is no problem too mundane for our Lord.
He is able create a universe from nothing, Gen. 1-2. He is able to speak to the winds and the waves and calm the most violent of storms, Mark 4:35-41; 6:45-51. He is able to take five small biscuits and two little sardines and feed thousands of people, John 5:1-13. He is able to speak the word and deliver a man from the grip of thousands of demons, Mark 5:1-20. He is able to do all these great things and more!
Yet, Jesus is able to meet the most mundane of needs as well. He can create a universe from nothing and He can put tax money in the mouth of a fish, Matt. 17:27. He is able to calm the story seas, and He is able to speak peace to the hearts of His people, Phil. 4:6-7. He is able to multiply the loves and fish and feed a multitude, but He also takes care to feed the smallest of sparrows, Matt. 6:26. He is able to break the grip of Satan and deliver a demon possessed man, and He is able to reach into the heart of any lost sinner and save them by His grace, Rom. 10:13.
He is able to do the great things and He is able to take care of the mundane things as well. Nothing is so large that His power cannot overcome it, Job 42:2; Luke 1:37; Matt. 19:26; Matt. 28:18.
C. What kind of disruption do you need help with today? Do you have a situation that needs to be handled? Bring it to Him! Do you have sin that needs to be forgiven? Bring it to Him! Do you have problems that need to be solved? Bring them to Him! Do you need a Savior Who will love you and forgive you and save you soul? Bring it to Him! Whatever the needs, whatever the situation, whatever the burden, bring it to Jesus, He can handle it and He can meet the need!
Nothing is too big! Nothing is too small! He cares, 1 Pet. 5:7; Heb. 4:15, and of you will give Him an opportunity, He will display His great power in your life!
D. Life is filled with disruptions, but it is a comfort to know that our God can handle them all! Our duty is to bring them to Him and place them in His hands. When we do that, they are as good as handled!
III. v. 32-34 HE HAS POWER OVER DISEASES
A. Jesus and his four new recruits spent the afternoon relaxing. When the sun went down, the people showed up. The Jews honored the Sabbath day from sundown of Friday until sundown on Saturday. When the Sabbath was over, they came to Jesus for healing.
The people who came that evening were suffering from every imaginable disease and affliction. There were people in that crowd suffering from sickness and others who were suffering from Satan. Some were diseased and some were demon possessed. None, however, posed a problem for the Lord Jesus. From colds to cancer, from hemorrhages to hiccups, from deadly disease to demon possession, Jesus was able to heal every affliction that came His way.
Some came under their own power, others had to be carried. The word “brought in verse 32 means “to carry as a burden.” Regardless of how they got there, Jesus received them and helped them all.
The people who came that evening were from all classes of life. The rich and the poor came. The influential and the anonymous came. The religious and the rank sinner came. Jesus received them all and turned none away. He reached out to them in His compassion and He delivered them from all their ailments!
B. I say again that Jesus has power over disease! He can heal anyone He wants to heal, but it isn’t always His will to heal. Some people tell us that Jesus promises healing to all His children. They believe that there is physical healing in the atonement. They use Isa. 53:5, which says, “with His stripes we are healed. We need to understand that not a drop of blood was shed on the cross for our physical healing! When Jesus died, He died for our sins! Sure, there is healing at the end of the road, when we are taken home to Heaven. But, in this world, there will be disease, and there will be physical problems.
If it is always God’s will to heal, then why was Epaphroditus at the very point of death in Phil. 2:25-30? If it is always God’s will to heal, then why was Trophimus not healed by Paul, 2 Tim. 4:20?
No, it is not always God’s will to heal! Sometimes He uses sickness in our lives as chastisement for sin, 1 Cor. 11:30-32. Sometimes, He uses sickness as a way to get glory to His name, John 9:3; 11:4. Sometimes, it is God’s will to use sickness as the doorway to lead us from this world into His presence.
He can heal, but it not always His will to heal in this world. Now, all of God’s children receive healing when they get home!
C. While our Lord has the power to heal; He does not always use that power to heal everyone we pray for. I have a hard time praying for people to be healed. I usually pray “Lord, if it is Your will, please heal so and so. Some people would say that that kind of praying demonstrates a lack of faith. I say that kind of praying honors God! It trusts Him to do right and believes Him in spite of the outcome!
While we understand that God does not give physical healing to everyone who calls on Him for healing, I can say with all confidence that every person who asks Him to heal them of the ultimate disease will never be turned away disappointed!
Jesus can heal these bodies; that is no problem for Him! But, He specializes in taking souls that have been afflicted by the disease of sin and making them whole.
Man’s greatest need today is not for healing of the body. Man’s greatest need is for healing of the soul! You see, man has a problem. Man is a sinner by birth, Rom. 3:10-13. Man is doomed to Hell by His sin, Rom. 6:23. Man has only one hope, and His name is Jesus, Acts 4:12; John 14:6. If a sin sick soul will turn to Jesus by faith, He will instantly, perfectly and permanently heal them. He will save their soul and make them a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. He will give them a brand new life, John 3:3, 7. He will adopt them into His family and make them a child of God, Rom. 8:15; 1 John 3:1-2.
If you are lost today, you are in worse shape than a person with terminal cancer. You are in worse shape than a person with AIDS. You are in worse condition than any person with any physical disease in the history of the world! You are soul sick and you are headed to Hell. You need to be saved! If you will come to Jesus, He will heal you today and He will make you whole!
D. Let me also mention the fact that not everyone who came to Jesus that afternoon was saved. Some were there for what they could get from Jesus. No doubt some people believed unto salvation, but others were there who were just using Him.
The same is true about people in our day. Most people are content to take His blessings while they ignore Him. They breathe His air, eat His food, drink His water and live in His world; but they do not want Him to rule over them.
Far too many people are simply looking for a spare tire. They throw God in the trunk of their life until they have a flat, then they drag Him out and use Him until things get better, then they hide Him away again.
God does not exist just so He can be used by needy people. He is to be loved, worshiped and served, regardless of what life brings our way.
Conc: When the people saw Jesus casting out demons and healing diseases, they were amazed at His power. What we need to understand today is this: He still has the same power today!
He can still deliver you from the grip of the devil! He can still handle all the disruptions of your life. He can still cure the diseases that ail you. Whatever has you in its grip today, is no match for Jesus.
If you want to be free, come to Him! If you need healing, come to Him. If you need to be saved, come to Him. If He has spoken to your heart and reminded you of where you need to be, come to Him!
Have you been using God as a spare tire? Do you need to get on fire for Him? Do you need to be forgiven? Do you need to be saved? Let’s mind Him as He calls!