Friday, February 16, 2007

The Healing of the demonised man in the synagogue

I’ve been assigned to preach on Sunday on Mark 1: 21-34. The story of the healing of the demoniac in the synagogue. I haven’t written up my sermon yet, I always do that last, and I never blog my sermons, because I tend to preach from fairly brief notes, and I’m quite sure they wouldn’t make sense to anyone else.
So, since I tend to mull around the ideas for my sermon in the back of my mind all week, and then write it down and structure it only the day before or so, I thought that what I would blog are, in random order, some of the issues I am going to include:

The context: the Kingdom of God This passage follows straight on from Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom. (that kingdom whose presence, breaking in upon us, demands our repentance) How did Jesus demonstrate the kingdom? Not by striking a blow against Rome to restore an earthly regime, but by striking a blow against Satan’s power to restore a spiritual kingdom and our liberation. Satan not Rome was Israel’s true enemy. A foretaste of the great victory which took place upon the cross. It is also noteworthy that this signified the nature of the kingdom: Jesus demonstrated the kingdom by healing, by mercy, by the demonstration that God’s power is used to enact His grace

Why were there demons in the synagogue? Because Israel was not walking in right relationship with God. She had a form of religion, but was actually breaking many of God’s covenant requirements (see Jesus’ condemnations of Pharisees, also IVP dictionary of the gospels articles on the Pharisees and the socio-economic inequalities in C1 Judaism) What is more demonic than “religion” that purports to be godly but really drives people deeper into bondage and further from His grace?

Why command silence? The “Messianic secret” in Mark is misleading, there is no confusion about the identity of Jesus, it is proclaimed from the first verse. Jesus commanded silence because His time had not yet come, he needed time for His ministry to show his character, for men and women to encounter Him and experience the recognition of faith, that this man was also God-Incarnate. Also, if I were Jesus, I don’t think I’d want my references written (or proclaimed) by demons! As it was some were to accuse Him of being Beelzebub!

Jesus was the holy One of Israel, the bearer of the Holy Spirit.
The great Battle between God and Satan took place in Jesus’ ministry, culminating in the cross

Jesus demonstrated His authority from the outset of His ministry.

Application? Jesus is still Lord of Lords and King of Kings today.
Are we yielded to His Lordship in our lives?
Do we believe He has authority to heal us? (in all kinds of ways: conversion, physical, emotional spiritual etc)

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