Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28th ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Job 37-38, Proverbs 1, Ephesians 4.
Today's scripture focus is  Mark 1:21-28.

21 They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Here we find Jesus beginning his ministry, and he's off to a running start.  Not only does he teach "as one having authority, and not as the scribes" but he can command unclean spirits.  John MacArthur pointed out the difference in the responses of the people and the demon to Jesus' command:

His authority amazed the people. That is indicated in verse 22 and again in verse 27, “the people were amazed.” On the other hand, the demons were terrified. The people were amazed, the demons were terrified. The people wondered, the demons panicked.

In the first half of the gospel of Mark, the only beings that are sure who Jesus is are the demons. They know Him. They have known Him since they were created by Him. They have known Him since they were dwelling in heaven as holy angels before they rebelled. They have known Him since they surrounded the throne, before Lucifer led them in their rebellion.

The first half of the book of Mark, the leaders didn't understand who He was. The people didn't understand who He was. Even His disciples were unsure about who He was. That was the difference. The crowd was amazed. The demons were terrified. The difference? The demons knew they had reason to be afraid.

What terrified the demon? What terrified the demon was the truth. He knew that with the arrival of Jesus was the arrival of the truth. The demons knew that they had developed an untrue false system of religion that was highly successful in Israel. And it held people captive unto their damnation. They again are disguised as angels of light. They hide in the middle of false religion. Satan is before all other things a liar and a murderer. He wants to catch everybody in deception and then kill their eternal souls. Truth is therefore deadly to the demonic operation...deadly. This is where the initial conflict comes.

When sinners come to a true understanding of the person of Christ, when sinners come to a true understanding of the authority of Christ as the Son of God, they are also terrified. And terrified sinners tend to run in holy fear to Christ for forgiveness and grace, something demons cannot do. 

The demons knew who He was and couldn't be saved. The people didn't believe He was who He claimed to be and wouldn't be saved. What is necessary is a combination of both. You need to be amazed and terrified. Amazed at such a Savior and terrified at such a judge.

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Mark 1:29-39
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Job 39-40, Proverbs 2, Ephesians 5.

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