Faithlife Sermons

Who is this Man?

Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Knowing Jesus’ identity helps us to submit in confidence to our Savior.

Notes
Transcript

Bare Bone Outline

Text:

21 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.

23 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.

General Idea: Jesus’ authority is seen in how he deals with this demon possessed man. He begins by teaching with in a synagogue on a sabbath,
Big Idea: Knowing Jesus’ identity helps us to submit in confidence to our Savior.
Central Proposition: Because we know Jesus’ identity, we are to submit in confidence to our Savior.
Three Main Points:
Introduction
Body
1. Jesus’ Identity as Prophet
a. The Source of his Authority
b. The Consequence of his Teaching
2. Jesus’ Identity as Priest
a. The need of a Priest
b. The cleansing of the man
3. Jesus’ Identity as King
a. As the Holy One of God he has been set apart for Kingship
b. As the Holy One of God he has come to judge all evil
Conclusion

Homiletical Outline

Introduction

How do you decide to trust someone? How do you come to the conclusion that someone is actually trustworthy? Let me restate the question in a different fashion, who do you trust? And, why?
Most often than not, we tend to trust more those whom we know better. This is actually one of the first things that we teach our kinds, right? Do-not-talk-to-waht? Strangers.
As Christians, we are told and taught to trust in Jesus, and at the same time, Jesus says that following him will be difficult. We are going to be despised, we are going to suffer persecution, it’s not going to be easy and we all know all of this. And it is precisely when these situations come, in the darkest hour, when we are fighting the world, our flesh and the devil, that this trust is challenged.
This is one of the reasons why I love this passage. One of the main purposes of the whole gospel of Mark is to answer the question: Who is this Jesus? And our text this morning deals precisely with this.
So my purpose today is that by learning or reaffirming what we know about Jesus’ identity, we might be greatly encouraged to live our christian live. Hence, if there is one thing I want you to take out of this sermon is this:
Because we know Jesus’ identity, we are to submit in confidence to our Savior.
And there are three main aspects we are going to remember today about Christ’s identity:
His identity as Prophet
His identity as Priest
His identity as King

His Identity as a Prophet Helps Us Listen to Him

Explanation

The first thing we are told about Jesus in this passage is that, on the Sabbath, he was with the people of God in the house of God, in the business of God, through teaching.
Now, we don’t get much from this specific passage about the content of his teaching, and yet, what we know from other sources is:
Teachers would go into synagogues,
They would ask for permission to teach,
They would stand to read from the Torah Scrolls (Old Testament),
The attendants would seat on the floor, while the teacher would seat on a high chair,
And good teachers would begin explaining and applying the passage to the life of the hearers.
So picture this scene in your minds.
The Source of his Authority [Impl.]
AS HE IS TEACHING:
22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
Mark here is contrasting two things: The Scribe’s source of Authority and Jesus’ source of authority.
The Scribe’s source of authority was one of human knowledge.
Their knowledge of the tradition and laws (imposed by them for the most part).
And mainly their ability to quote and cite other scribes.
The main problem was that Scribes wanted to draw authority from themselves.
This made their teaching often dry, cold and irrelevant.
On the other hand, Jesus’ source of authority comes from his own shared, divine, trinitarian being.
Jesus is speaking as the Son of God incarnate, from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit inspired.
The Son knows and shares one will of his Father.
He and his father are one in being, while different persons.
Jesus taught with love for God, Scripture, and God’s people.
In comparing Jesus’s authority form that of the pharisees, William Hendriksen writes the following:
[The scribes] were constantly borrowing from falible sources, one scribe quoting another […] trying to draw water from broken cisterns. [Jesus] drew from himself, “the Fountain of Living Waters.”
Hendriksen, Mark in NTC. (Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, MI) 1984, p.64
So not only the source of his authority was different, but also the effect of his teaching was as well.
2. The Effect of his Teaching
The first thing we already noticed is that the text says that all who heard him were astonished.
The word here conveys not only some mild affirmation of what Jesus was teaching.
This people were astounded. They were overwhelmed with what they were hearing.
Now, at the same time, another effect took place.

23 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.”

Discomfort from the enemies, indeed, demonic opposition.
Notice, first, that the man with the unclean spirit does not just leave the synagogue.
We do not know if this was his first time there, or he was a common attendant.
What we know is that, once the Word is preached correctly, it reveals the hearts and souls that are in opposition to it.
The Word does not return void. It always accomplishes something.
The prophet was the one who brought the word of God to the people. And in so far he would do so faithfully, his words had God’s authority.
Jesus by bringing this word through his teaching is fulfilling this prophetic role.
And knowing both the source of his authority and its effect, helps us to listen closely what he has to say.
I don’t know if you ever had a terrible teacher. A guy that was mainly concerned with looking good, pretending to be more than anyone in the room, failing everyone to show his superiority, abusing his authority. And probably you also can remember a great teacher you had. One that was characterized by not only knowing his stuff, but also loving his subject, his students, and his role as a teacher. Having a teacher of this sort would make you enjoy even the dullest class. Now, putting this teachers side by side, which one are you going to pay attention to?

Application

We have many teachers today.
News? Twitter or Facebook Feed? Movies? Songs? Culture? Politics?
Who are you listening to? Who are you learning from? Who is your prophet?
God has spoken
He has left us his Word.
Also called the Word of Christ.
He has called for us men who speak from his word with authority,
not because of their eloquence,
nor because of their training, ethnic origin, or else
but they speak with authority insofar they are faithfully explaining the word of the living God.
Are we paying attention?
If so, what are the effects in our life?
Are we listening to truths that are causing our old man to die, to be crucified, feel discomfort and our new man to be astonished?
Just as the people in the synagogue that day, either you are transformed by the Word, or you will be exposed by the Word.
You cannot seat under the faithful exposition of the word of God and experience no effect whatsoever.
Is either transformation and celebration, or exposure and hardening of heart.
What’s happening today?
Jesus is a prophet to whom we would do good in listening to. But he is not only a prophet, he is also a priest.

Jesus’ Identity as Priest Fulfills our Need of Cleansing

If the prophet was expected to present God’s word to the people, the priest task was to represent the people before God.
And the way in which he did this was by purifying the people. He was to discern what was pure from what was defiled, the clean from the unclean, and he was supposed to remove the stain and stench of sin from the people time and time again, to be able to represent them before a Holy God.
And in this scene, we have the encounter between the clean, and the unclean.

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.

Explanation

The need of a Priest
The problem is that this Unclean Spirit defiled the man.
He made this man unsuitable for being before a holy God, and unsuitable to be in the assembly of saints.
Word in LXX
The word used for unclean here is also used by the LLX (the greek version of the OT) over 150 times, mostly meaning ceremonial uncleaness.
So this word would have rang some bells inside the original readers’ mind.
Lev. 19:31 contemplated the possibility of being defiled by spirits and spiritism, but does not give provisions for becoming clean again.
So, we are at crossroads here because here.
Because, on the one hand, we have the obvious need for spiritual cleansing,
Whereas, on the other, there was no Scriptural provision for such thing to be accomplished.
The unclean Spirit and the Holy one of God, the solution.
Now, at the time of Jesus, exorcists were not uncommon.
However, they way in which they usually performed exorcisms was by the use of diverse incantations and amulets. (Josephus, Antq. VIII.ii.5)
And, those often failed.
In contrast, Jesus’ speaks and the man is cleansed.
This is what happens when the Holy one of God encounters an unclean spirit.
The unclean, which formerly defiled everything it touched, cannot stand, cannot defile, and cannot defend against the Holiness of God.
Think of the virus that has affected us since last year. Highly contagious, dangerous, even physically mortal. Think of how may days we prayed for a vaccine, a medicine, something that would stop the contamination caused by it. And we need to use masks. And we need to be distanced. We need to clean our hans time and time again. Never-ending cleansing, without achieving purity. What would you do if you knew of someone that could stop this by the utterance of his words.
For a Holy God, the pollution caused by sin, the uncleaness caused by unholiness is worse, than that caused by a virus.
And yet, Jesus came to cleanse precisely that. He is the Priest par excellence, because he is the Holy One of God. Nothing can Defile him, and yet, he is able to clean everyone who comes in faith.

Application

Scripture says that He is able to clean us once and for all,
And yet sometimes we are trying to act as if we needed to cleanse ourselves.
If I do this, I will surly be more acceptable to God.
If I pray more, if I read more Scripture, if I give more, then I will be clean.
Don’t misunderstand me, this are great things to do.
But they are no good to purify us. No, but it is because Jesus has cleansed you that you are able and willing to do all this to the Glory the Father.
And here is why knowing this is so important:
When we fall into sin Satan will try to distract you from this truth and convince you to try something on your own strength.
So that we live frustrated and loose all hope.
On the other hand, there may be some of us that are so discouraged for past or present sin and already think there is no hope for us.
Or we can feel discouraged for another, who we don’t think has any chance left. Maybe a friend, some family, you name it.
To you let me remind, Jesus is the perfect priest.
He is able to clean perfectly.
His sacrifice is sufficient, and acceptable before God
Therefore, we are to preach this truth to ourselves until we believe that we he has really cleansed us.
But also, we are to continue preaching this truth to others, even if, as the possessed man, we think that there is no hope. Jesus is able.
So we’ve seen that Jesus is the prophet we ought to listen, and the priest that cleanses us, but he also is the King of kings.

Jesus’ Identity as King helps us Submit

Listen to what the text continues to say:

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.

Explanation

The first thing I want you to notice is the simple truth that when Jesus commands, even demons obey.
How is it, that those who oppose him and hate him the most, are compelled to submit to him?
Why is it that even Demons cannot resist his command?
As the Holy One of God he has been set apart for Kingship
He is the Son of the Most High God
He is the royal heir of the heavenlies
He possesses all authority on heaven and on earth
No one and nothing is beyond his jurisdiction.
He has not only been set apart to be a king, he has been sent from heaven to be the perfect king!
In the text, Mark has given us a hint that reminds the reader (especially the Jew reader) about the history of failed kings.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,

15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Herod, the present authority has unjustly arrested John the Baptist.
In this context, Jesus comes proclaiming a kingdom, which implies, there is a better king.
And in our text, even enemies submit and surrender to this king’s authority.
Jesus is the Perfect King, he is the Righteous King
As the Holy One of God he has come to judge all evil.
And he has done so, as Hebrews says, part[aking] of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
The perfect king has defeated death and evil in its own game, by dying in the most evil act in history, being nailed naked to a cross. Murdered, by the ones he came to save.
But that was not the end. Because the Father raised him from the dead, He ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, from where He will come back, as a king of glory, to judge the living and the dead.
I love the final scene in the Lord of the Rings’ Return of the King. Aragon is finally being crowned. Evil is no more, peace and celebration lays ahead in Middle Earth. All the battle, all the strife, all the momentary suffering is now worthy in light of the eternal restoration of all things.
Our perfect King will return in glory to restore all things. And while we wait, what should we do?

Application

Recognize that if demons listen, take heed of his command, tremble and obey, then how much more we, his beloved brothers by adoption, are to listen, and submit with confidence?
So, in this Christian life you have the blessing of living, in this momentary struggle in light of eternity yes, there will be persecution. Submit with confidence, keep faithful.
There will be scorn and mockery. Submit with confidence, keep faithful.
You are going to be despised, even hated for doing what is right. Submit with confidence, keep faithful.
People will mistreat you and abuse you kindness. Submit to the King, keep faithful
We are going to have wicked authorities. Remember, they will answer to the highest authority.
I would even encourage you to pray for them.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Pray for their repentance, for them to humble themselves before him from which their authority derives.

Conclusion

So, how do you decide to trust someone? How can you obey King? How can you submit to him? How are we supposed to be faithful in this present age? How do you decide to trust Jesus?
I trust him, because I know who he is. I know his identity. He is our prophet, whom we listen and learn, our priest who cleansed us forever, and our King, who has promised to make us heirs of his kingdom. Do you trust this Jesus?
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