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A confrontation and the victory.

Timing. is. telling. Jesus was no sooner baptized than the Devil was right there to tempt him mightily. Likewise, Jesus no sooner called his disciples to follow him, walked the short distance into Capernaum, than the devil reared his head in the synagogue. Hmmm. Mark writes: They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 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!” And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 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.” Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee. Mark 1.21-28 Lord, what would you have us take from these several verses today? Line by line, we note this is Mark's record of Jesus' first teaching. The people gathered in the synagogue were amazed at his authority--he was different than their usual teachers. Hmmm...don't you wonder what it was about Jesus? Well, they weren't the only ones who noted Jesus' authority in the synagogue that day...look with me as a demon-possessed man confronts Jesus, even recognizing and calling out to Jesus by name! Jesus similarly recognizes evil. Undaunted, Jesus tells the demon to be quiet, and get out of the man, which it did, making one last commotion. And quite naturally, the people were amazed at Jesus' command over the demon, who could do nothing to stand in the presence of Jesus. Evil stages the confrontation, but Jesus has the victory. Wow. My response to this scene is two-fold. If you sense the presence of evil in or around you, do what Jesus did: "In Jesus' name, be gone." God gives you that authority. You see, we must be reasonable, informed people--neither thinking too much of the devil nor thinking too little. As Peter warned, we must be alert and aware!2 There is far too much flirting with evil today... seriously, did you hear about the song on the Grammy's this year? What in the world has made this acceptable fare? Be wise. Don't even mess around with it . . . distance yourself from evil. But what undoes me about this scene is that people were astonishingly amazed by Jesus. This is one of 23 times that scripture states that to be so. Jesus amazed. Imagine with me that Jesus walked into your home today and sat down for a cup of coffee and conversation. You too would be amazed by him. Ponder that. Please take a moment to watch this: Are you Amazed? Think on Jesus and be amazed by him~ Ask him to reveal himself to you...he will. Christine The Footsteps of Jesus in the gospel of Mark, 5. 1 – John 10.10 2 - 1 Peter 5.8-9

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