The Gospel of Mark – Part 7
The Fame of Jesus – Mark 1:21-45
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Aug. 11th, 2019
- In this next section, Jesus is on the move. As He faithfully performs His ministry, His fame spreads throughout the region. Each of these stories highlight an event that captures various aspects of who He was. In doing so, God establishes His glory by putting it on display, by His wisdom, authority and power for the instruction, freedom and benefit of His creation. Jesus still does these things today for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Know that you are serving a wise, sovereign, powerful and good King. He is worthy of your allegiance and worship.
Jesus teaches with authority
Mark 1:21-22 ESV
And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
- Jesus has authority. Jesus is not a commentator; He is the originator. Jesus is not an echo; He is the voice. Jesus is not a resource; He is the source. He is the Word that became flesh. He is the beginning and the end. He is the author and perfecter. He is the creator and has authority by His right as the creator. Through the Holy Spirit Paul describes Jesus this way:
Col 1:15-20 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
- When Jesus taught with authority, He commanded with authority and He was filled with authority. People took note of this and they were astonished. What Jesus teaches is authoritative and all teachings are to measure themselves by what He taught.
Jesus commands unclean spirits
Mark 1:23-28 ESV
And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are— the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
- Not only did Jesus teach with authority, He commanded unclean spirits. His teaching is authoritative, and His position is authoritative. The unclean spirits know who Jesus is, and they know that they are under His command and they must submit to His authority when He exercises it with them. He is Lord over every supernatural power and authority. Jesus is
Eph 1:21-23 ESV
far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
- Know that He is dominant and has positional authority based upon who He is as the creator and redeemer. No natural or supernatural force is greater and more powerful than Jesus. He will win in the end when everyone will bow their knee to Him. Know that no force or power can withstand the force of His authority and power. Call on Him for protection, deliverance and justice.
- Because Jesus taught with authority, unclean spirits submitted to Him. His fame spread everywhere throughout the surrounding region, and may His fame spread everywhere in our region as well.
Jesus heals various diseases
Mark 1:29-34 ESV
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
- Jesus, at that point, had become well-known in the region. He continued to heal people because the kingdom of God was at hand. He did not do so because He was looking to draw attention to Himself, but to demonstrate the kingdom of God and glorify His Father. He healed in private for the sake of love and service, and He did so in mass because people were coming after Him. One by one and one after another, Jesus ministered to those who were coming to Him. Various diseases were healed, and many demons were cast out.
- It is also interesting to note that Jesus did not let the demons tell people who He was. They could do so because they knew the Son of God since they at one time had been in heaven with Him and they know that they are in submission to Him. This was not the right time or the right way, and they were not the right messengers to communicate the identity of Jesus. He was to show them who He was by what He taught and what He did. They wanted to identify Him early to exploit and destroy Him before He completed His mission.
- Know that nothing is out of His power to control or command. And nothing can keep him from completing His work or His mission, even the expectations of those coming to Him as we will see in the next account.
Jesus keeps on task
Mark 1:35-39 ESV
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
- Jesus did not submit or be distracted from His mission by the demands and expectations of people. And these were people who legitimately needed help and were in difficult and desperate situations.
- What does this tell us? Firstly, it is important to notice that even with all of these demands, Jesus made time for prayer. He knew that He needed this focused connection with His Father. You cannot use the excuse that you are too busy to pray. You are not in higher demand than Jesus was, nor are you in less need to pray than Jesus was. Jesus knew that private communication with His Father was the most powerful and important thing for Him to do and He made it a priority despite His demands.
- Secondly, God does forsake His calling. Need does not necessitate calling and it is not your calling to meet every need and demand. And just because you have a need does not mean that God is obligated to meet it, however, He always does what is in line with His plan and He is always working His plan, faithful to fulfill it. We are to be doing what God directs us to do no matter how legitimate and urgent the needs are. If it is not in the plan, then continue to move forward with what God has called you to do. Do not sacrifice your higher purpose on the altar of the urgent. Don’t abandon the great good to meet the needs and expectations of people. Because Jesus kept first things first, the greater good and primary purpose was being accomplished.
Jesus instructs next steps
Mark 1:40- ESV
And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
- The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. You cannot do better than what God instructs you to do. Perhaps this person thought they knew better than Jesus to directly disobey what He told them to do. Perhaps he thought he was doing a good thing by letting people know what happened to him. You can’t “help God out” by doing what you think is best in direct conflict in what He instructs you to do. Your way is not the way, and your way is not better. And sometimes what we think will enhance the ministry and message of Jesus may in fact hinder it.
- Because Jesus had pity, this man’s need was met, but because of this man’s foolishness in obeying the instructions of Jesus, Jesus had to alter His method and movements. Don’t just go to Jesus to receive from Him, but also go to Jesus to follow and serve Him.
- Mark records the expanding authority, power and focus of the ministry of Jesus. May the fame and story of Jesus continue to expand through our following and service to Him.
- Remember that He has all authority and power. His teaching is the authoritative standard that all teaching is to be compared against. His word is final.
- Remember that His power is greater and above all powers and all principalities, and powers will not and cannot stand against Him.
- Remember to keep first things first and recognize your need to connect with your Father. Make time to hear from His word and talk to Him. This is your most important task and do not neglect this because of the demand of others or the desire of your heart. Fight for what is most important and hold it sacred.
- Remember that need does not necessitate call. Understand and focus in on your unique calling.