Jesus had just called the fishermen with the simple words of “Follow Me” when He went to synagogue and began to teach. Mark 1 records that this was not the normal type of teaching which was regularly heard. Mark says that “Jesus taught as one who had authority, not like the scribes who normally taught.”
In the middle of Jesus’ teaching, a man who was possessed by an ‘unclean spirit’ stood up to shout Jesus down. Mark identifies this man only as one who was demon possessed. Obviously, this man had lucid moments where his problem was not evident.
Candidly, this may not have been the first time this man had been in church. Perhaps he had been there many times with no incidents, but when the Lord showed us – it was more than he could take.
The scripture says that the ‘unclean spirit’ recognized Jesus. He called Jesus by name then identified Jesus as “The Holy One of God.” Can you believe it? The one who was supposed to be turning people away from God actually let people know the identity of the Lord. I wonder if the ‘unclean spirit’ recognizes Jesus better than we do.
The unclean spirit also responded to Jesus in a couple of ways. If it is true that this man has attended the synagogue before and had not reacted, it could be said that evil only reacts when it comes into the presence of righteousness. Today we have become so comfortable with evil that evil is comfortable with us. However, when faced with the presence of God, it shouts down holy teaching. Next, the unclean spirit was commanded by Jesus, and actually ‘obeyed.’ Again, does it make us wonder if the ‘demon’ give the Lord more respect than we do.
Finally, our scripture is interesting. In Mark 1:28 we read that this episode made Jesus “famous” in the region. It takes no imagination to know that this was the last thing which the devil wanted to happen. Here’s the take away: The devil is always present at church. When the Lord shows up, the enemy gets active and causes a problem, an interruption, and an episode. God is still in control and can use whatever the devil does to get glory for Himself. For us, let us not be deceived, vulnerable to, or controlled by the evil one.
(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his book entitled
“Words Of Warning”
“And They Were Called Christians”