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Journey with Jesus (3)

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Capernaum

Capernaum- was situated for a ministry by Jesus in the Galilee region. It lay adjacent to the Via Maris, the main trade route between the Mediterranean coastal plain and Damascus in the north. It was also as distant as one could be in Galilee from the major Hellenistic cities of Sepphoris, Beth Shan, and especially Tiberias, where Herod Antipas made his capital, so Jesus would initially not be bothered with political and religious leaders from those areas.
It was located on the Northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Most of its inhabitants were Jews, who worked as fisherman, farmers, artisans, merchants, and officials, including tax collectors. So it was a mixed population with a small Roman garrison that lived in better housing that the locals and they also enjoyed a Roman bath.
Capernaum’s population maybe was as high as 10,000 people and it was the placed Jesus moved to when He left Nazareth. () “Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake....”
Also it was the hometown of the 4 disciples Jesus called a few verses earlier in Simon and his brother Andrew, and James and his brother John.
Capernaum had advantages commercially because of its location on a major trade route surrounded by fertile lands and plentiful fishing allowed Capernaum to be an enviable place to live due to its economic prosperity.
This prosperity is evident for several centuries as even today there stands a 4th century synagogue- the most impressive to be excavated to date in the holy land from imported white limestone rather than the local black basalt.
This is not the synagogue visited by Jesus, but the pavement beneath this synagogue would appear to be the original floor of the synagogue visited by Jesus.
The black basalt foundation underneath this white limestone synagogue can be clearly seen and would be the very synagogue Jesus would have visited.
Synagogues were “assembly halls” or auditoriums “gathering places” where the Torah was read and expounded. These synagogues could be found throughout the Mediterranean world wherever ten or more Jewish males, thirteen year of age or older, were present.
The “ruler of the synagogue” oversaw the activities in the synagogue. He did not preach or expound the Torah, but he would invite others to teach and preach.

The authority of Jesus in His teaching

Jesus spoke plainly

He was not quoting from previous rabbis. He did not even quote Moses or one of the prophets as he began his public ministry.
In Jesus’s sermon on the Mount he says in I tell you the truth....”
For I tell you....”
In Jesus says “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. vs.22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”
“You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. vs. 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This kind of plain language reminds me of how my dad disciplined us when we were kids. “You think your going back out to play, but I say to you, go to your room… and going to my room to wait for what came next was the worst…Let’s start praying for the rapture....it was my only way out.
Teaching moment for the disciples- Simon and his brother Andrew and James and his brother John. Jesus saw this as an opportunity to show them, he was not just another rabbi.

Jesus spoke powerfully

His authority came from God.
Matthew 28:18 ESV
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Matthew 28:18
The “teachers of the law”- “scribes”- experts in the Law. They did not lack authority and power among the people. However, when Jesus spoke his message carried more weight. they recognized his message was new and different from what they had previously heard.
Colossians 2:10 ESV
and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Christ in us gives us what we need. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead, lives in us.
Authority is about control.
Who’s in control of my life?
Do I have any habits in my life that are controlling me that are not pleasing to God? Do I seek out godly counsel on questionable activities or do I simply rationalize my behavior?
Habit of whining and complaining
Habit of people with the wrong people
Habit of lying.....(Brett Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court.
Habit of not reading your Bible or spending time in prayer
Habit of engaging in unwholesome talk
Habit of listening to music with perverted lyrics
Habit of watching movies that would make God blush
Colossians 1:16 ESV
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.
Colossians 2:15 ESV
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The message that Jesus was giving here in Mark is gripping their hearts. They are feeling a sense of deep conviction in his words.
Two of Jesus’s disciples are on the road to Emmaus after Jesus death and resurrection and they are explaining to Jesus who they don’t recognize that Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. ()
Later these disciples break bread with Jesus and he opens their eyes so they can recognize him and he disappears out of their sight. They say to each other “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Reaching the heart is the most important part of preaching, the Puritans believed. Thus Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Our people do not so much need to have their heads stored as to have their hearts touched, and they stand in the greatest need of that sort of preaching which has the tendency to do this.”43
Reaching the heart is the most important part of preaching, the Puritans believed. Thus Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Our people do not so much need to have their heads stored as to have their hearts touched, and they stand in the greatest need of that sort of preaching which has the tendency to do this.”43
Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark. A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Locations 25930-25932). . Kindle Edition.
They knew from Scripture and by experience that only an omnipotent Christ can arrest a sinner who is wedded to sinful lusts, divorce him from the primary love of his heart, make him willing to forsake his bosom sin, and turn him to God with full resolve to obey and honor Him.
Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark. A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Locations 25940-25942). . Kindle Edition.
John 16:13 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Jesus spoke confidently

He knew who He was and what He believed. He knew what His mission was and what message He was sent to deliver.
Matthew 5:18 ESV
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Psalm 119:89 ESV
Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit- His baptism the Spirit of God descended on Him.

The authority of Jesus over demons

There is a conflict between the kingdom of God and the dominion of Satan. A conflict between the anointed One, Holy One of God and those held captive by evil spirits. The battle is not just flesh, but is a spiritual battle, it is a cosmic conflict.

Demons are also called evil spirits or unclean spirits

They hate and oppose God, His Word, His people and His plan. They fight against God.
This demon recognized who Jesus is....He is Jesus of Nazareth.
Oftentimes when people would attempt to exorcise a demon they would do so by naming the demon. Perhaps here, the demon mentions Jesus name to try and usurp power over him.
The evil spirit cries out- “What do you want with us?” If you let us along we will leave you alone. He is already tormented by being in the presence of Jesus. Evil cannot stand in the presence of Jesus.
“What do you want with us?”
reminds us that “everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” His cry of torment is because he is afraid.
It is hard for sinners to come to church because in church they will hear words of light that can expose them.
We usually operate in fear or faith.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
John Milton- Paradise Lost- “Millions of unseen creatures walk the earth unseen both when we wake and when we sleep.”
Epjh. 6:12
Martin Luther- A Mighty Fortress is Our God- “And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, We will not fear for God has willed his truth to triumph through us.”
in this passage, the demon recognizes that He does not have more power than Jesus. The demon says to Jesus, “Have you come to destroy us?”

Demons have limited power

The evil spirit was silenced and shamed- He was told to shut up and to come out of him. He was muzzled and commanded to do something he did not want to do. He was restrained from controlling this man or causing further damage in his life.
“Have you come to destroy us?” The evil spirit was full of fear that Jesus could destroy him.
The evil influence of evil spirits can be broken in people’s lives. Demons have no hope. They are doomed to destruction.
Break Every Chain Tasha Cobbs
Break Every Chain Tasha Cobbs
There is power in the name of Jesus There is power in the name of Jesus There is power in the name of Jesus To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain
The evil spirit shrieked in agony when it came out of the man but also perhaps to intimidate the crowd…saying I will be back, I will return.
What chain does Satan have around your life to keep you in bondage?
Break the chain of pornography- with accountability
Break the chain of addiction- with changing the people you hang out with, the places you go and what you do with your time.
Break the chain of selfishness- by giving to God what belongs to Him.
Break the chain of inadequacy or low self esteem by grasping our identity in Christ.

Demons have limited knowledge

They do not know how God is going to act.
They do not have omniscience like God.

The power of Jesus to heal

Jesus has power over sickness and disease
Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law. God cares about mother-in-laws.
Jesus heals completely- there was no sit around for a couple days and eat soup and drink ginger-ale. Peter’s mother-in-law jumped up and started serving them. She had energy and desire to serve. No after affects, no weakness.
A strict Rabbi would have forbidden a woman to serve in this capacity.
When God heals and delivers a person, that person reciprocates in grateful service.
Humble service is the mode for every disciple of Jesus.
- Jesus heals many from sickness, disease and demon possession.
The people did not bring the sick and diseased until after the Sabbath- as they did not want to be guilty of breaking the Sabbath law.
“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus....
“Brought”- kept on bringing. Kept carrying.
Jesus was not just healing people to impress them with His power, rather He wanted to authenticate his message.
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