Confrontation in the Synagogue

March 17, 2019


March 17, 2019

Mike Rose
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* Capernaum was a prosperous town, driven economically by the fishing trade.

* Nazareth was the village of Jesus’ upbringing however, Capernaum was the place He called “home base” during much of His ministry years. Matthew 9:1

As was His custom, Jesus was found in the Synagogue teaching The Word of God and the “worshippers” were loving it.

Luke says …they were astonished at His teaching, for His word possessed authority.

“astonished” literally means “to strike with panic or shock.”

Mark 1:22 gives us insight into why they were so shocked …because He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

The Pharisee’s teaching was about God’s Word, NOT actually teaching God’s Word.

Dr. Kent Hughes: …their teachers, mostly Pharisees, were in bondage to quotation marks… they loved to quote authorities.

Jesus brought God’s Word to the people. He made it clear and simple.

TRUTH POINT #1: Jesus staked everything in His ministry on the authority of The Written Word of God.

* How did Jesus overcome Satan’s Temptation?

* What was the basis of His message in Nazareth?

* When He gave His famous Sermon on The Mount, it wasn’t based on Rabbinical teaching, it wasn’t a new doctrine Jesus invented. It was founded on…


2 Timothy 2:15-17

As Jesus taught The Word, a man suddenly shrieked with a loud voice. Luke tells us the man was possessed by an “unclean demon spirit.”

It seems Jesus’ power and authority were being expressed so powerfully that the demon could no longer take it and it cried out in painful defiance.

The ESV uses “Ha” to translate the opening comment, but a more literal translation would be “Leave Us Alone” – “What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

Clearly the demon is agitated and combative. As the scene played out the demon decided to “throw down” on Jesus. VS34: Have You come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.

One commentator suggested that when the demon said: I know who you are – the Holy One of God… he was attempting to bring Jesus under his power.

There was a belief that if one can “know the ‘true name’ of another it empowers them to gain mastery or control of them.” The practice is called “The Law of Names.”

Perhaps this explains the demon’s statement: I know who you are – I know your true name – the Holy One of God

Catch This: Holy One of God is translated from two Greek words… hagios = HOLY - theos = God

Literally … you are – Holy God!

Was the demon foolish enough to believe that the folklore was true, that knowing Jesus’ true identity would give him control of Jesus? Whatever he believed this was the demon attempting to come against Jesus. But he could not prevail.

Jesus rebuked the demon with 2 commands:

1. Be silent… literally be muzzled.

2. Come out… what could the demon do than make his exit as dramatic as possible. Throwing the man to the floor he came out!

TRUTH POINT #2: Jesus exposed the futility of any being taking a stand against God. The power of God’s spoken word creates galaxies and silences and expels demon spirits.

When Jesus went to the cross and rose from the dead, the promise of God to Eve was fulfilled… the seed of the woman crushed the serpents head. Colossians 2:13-15

Praise God: In Christ, we have nothing to fear from the underworld. They have been conquered by the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

I am not shocked at all that the people of Capernaum were AMAZAED. Dumbfounded might be a more appropriate word.

Never had they seen anything like this. So, people when out of the Synagogue telling everyone about the amazing things they heard and saw from Jesus of Nazareth.

TRUTH POINT #3: When people experience the work of Christ in their life, they can’t help but share Him with others.

We live under the delusion of SILENT CHRISTIANS.

People claiming Jesus saved them from sin, adopted them into His family and set them on a course of transformation and eternal life. Yet they tell no one about it.

That kind of Christianity is different than the Christianity of the early disciples of Jesus. Acts 4:19-20

If a professing Christian is not inclined to speak of Jesus, perhaps they should ask themselves this question… Have I really encountered the life changing power of Christ?

Today’s lesson holds encouragement for both believer and yet-to-believe people alike.

* Yet-to-believe: Jesus is Holy God and as such He holds the power to take away your sin and transform your life no matter how deep in sin you’ve gone.

No one is beyond The Grace of God through Jesus Christ the Lord. John 6:37

You can be assured that if you are desiring to turn from sin to Jesus, He will accept you. He will not turn you away.

* Believers: Your Savior is powerful to save you, powerful to keep you and powerful to bring you through any trial or tribulation you face.

When the complexities of life weigh you down…

When temptation tells you, you must give in…

When an evil spirit tells you that God has turned His back on you…

Don’t believe it.

Instead, cry out to Jesus and He will sustain you, He will deliver you, He will reassure you of His Love.