The one thing we can never do with Jesus is be bored by Him. We can reject Him, we can receive Him, we can love or hate him, but he can never be boring. We notice in Mark that people are often Astounded or Amazed by Jesus – and we should be as well.
Jesus is AMAZING! From the beginning of his ministry he was known as an amazing teacher.
They went into Capernaum, and right away he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. 22 They were astonished at his teaching because he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not like the scribes.Mark 1:21-22, CSB
As we step into a new year, I want us to step into a renewed perspective of Jesus and our love for Him. The rest of the chapter gives us settings in which we can see Jesus as an amazing teacher.
Jesus Had An Amazing Identity
Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out, “What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit threw him into convulsions, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him. They were all amazed, and so they began to ask each other: “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once the news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee.Mark 1:23-28, CSB
The demons who operate in a spiritual world knew who Jesus was – the Holy One of God! Jesus: Be quiet – lit. be muzzled, gagged. The demon came out because the One with authority commanded him to do so. 2nd time the text tells us that they were all amazed!
Jesus: Holy One of God who teaches with authority. Disciples of Jesus Christ are people who have placed their lives under the authority of Jesus. Troubles often come when we resist his authority. What does it mean to give Jesus Authority in our life? “Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His lordship.” -Elisabeth Elliot
Jesus Had Amazing Ability
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went into Simon and Andrew’s house with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. So he went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them.Mark 1:29-31, CSB
He was compassionate toward those who were ill. The Healing of Simon Peter’s mother in law: the power of Jesus over sickness and disease. This was not just to exemplify his ability but also his spirit – his compassion toward those who suffer.
What do we notice about Jesus here?
-He healed in spite of being tired. (evening )
-He healed in spite of the whole city gathered
-He healed in spite of knowing that they were only there for healing, not HIM.
-He healed without making any demands of faith
-He healed with no fanfare, not seeking to publicize himself yet.
I do not know anyone who has the healing touch of Jesus, but I know the One who still has that healing touch. Jesus still heals, though I do not know or understand . We can also be agents of healing in our world. Healing words – seeking reconciliation, offering comfort, urging enthusiasm. Healing actions – helping, he did not hold back. Healing teaching – sharing the gospel, and bearing the light of Christ to others. Healing attitudes – humble service, offering true friendship and acceptance, love.
Jesus Had Amazing Tenacity
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. Simon and his companions searched for him, and when they found him they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”Mark 1:35-39, CSB
Jesus was a prayerful person. He prayed in the morning – before daylight. He prayed in his tiredness – how long before he had healed the city…yet he got up early. He prayed in solitude – spending time alone with God. The mission of Jesus was fueled by prayer – time with His father.
Our mission is fueled by prayer as well. If Jesus needed to spend time in prayer, how much more should we? Never let a question or trouble keep you from prayer. I hope you pray daily – but also the 20 Days of Prayer
Jesus Had Amazing Capacity
He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. Then a man with leprosy came to him and, on his knees,[d] begged him: “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Moved with compassion,[e] Jesus reached out his hand and touched him. “I am willing,” he told him. “Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.Mark 1:40-42, CSB
He was able to serve those others rejected. Luke adds that this leper was ‘covered with leprosy’. Hanson’s Disease produces disfigurement because it acts as an anesthetic, numbness to the extremities as well as the ears, eyes, and nose. In 3rd world countries vermin sometimes chew on sleeping lepers. Dr. Paul Brand calls this disease a “painless hell.”
This leper was a castaway – Unable to function in society / temple / friendship. He had Confidence that Jesus could heal him, but he did not know if Jesus was willing to heal him. Jesus was able to love when others wouldn’t
Josephus says that lepers were to be treated as if they were dead men. He touched the leper – unheard of in his time. There are at least 8 touches in Mark’s gospel. Philip Yancey: Dr. Paul Brand devoted his life to treating leprosy patients in India. In one examination Brand laid his hand on the patient’s shoulder and informed him through a translator of the treatment that lay ahead. To his surprise the man began to shake with muffled sobs. “Have I said something wrong?” Brand asked the translator. She quizzed the patient and reported, “No, doctor. He says he is crying because you put your hand around his shoulder. Until he came here no one had touched him for many years.” Jesus had great capacity for loving others.
The one thing we can never do with Jesus is be bored by Him. We can reject Him, we can receive Him, we can love or hate him, but he can never be boring. Jesus was an amazing teacher – because of his identity, his ability, his tenacity, and his capacity for loving others. Jesus said to the leper: “I am willing” – sweet sound. Jesus is willing to save us today … and to heal us … to help us … to give us hope.
- In this text Jesus heals the many townspeople who come to him with all kinds of diseases and problems. We depend on medical professionals to provide care for us today. Can you name a doctor or medical professional who was most memorable in your life and why?
- The healing power of Jesus has a central place in this chapter. What does the healing power of Jesus tell you about Him? If Jesus still heals today, why does He not heal everyone – even people for whom we are praying? Can you name some people in Scripture who were godly people who were not healed? In what way does faith require us to accept we do not have all the answers about healing?
- The early morning prayer habit of Jesus is well known. Why do you think Jesus needed to pray? What prayer habits have you experienced that have been a blessing? Why is it hard to develop prayer habits?
- In what ways do you think Jesus identified with the outcast leper? How important is it for us to try to identify with the hurting people in our world? There are a lot of hurts … what hurt moves you the most? (Ideas: hunger,
homelessness, orphans, addiction, mental illness, etc.)
- Mark 1:28 says “And immediately His fame spread through-out all the region around Galilee.” Chris Tomlin sings a song named ‘Famous One’ (http://youtu.be/yujTyMTnbYA). What are some ways Christians make Jesus ‘famous’? Brain-storm some ways we can make Jesus ‘famous’ in our city?
- What else did you see here that you wanted to talk about today?
Responsive Reading : Psalm 103:1-5
L: Let my whole being bless the Lord!
C: Let everything inside me bless his holy name!
L: Let my whole being bless the Lord!
C: Never forget all his good deeds!
L: God forgives all your sins, heals all your sickness, and God saves your life from the pit.
C: He crowns you with faithful love and compassion.
L: God satisfies you with plenty of good things
C: so that your youth is made fresh like an eagle’s.