Where does your journey of faith begin? Will any church or synagogue do? What kind of person do you want discipling you?And they went into Caper'na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. Mark 1:21-22
RT France tells me that saying a person is a Scribe is comparable to saying they are well educated. Power, or authority in this instance, does not come from education. It is only a tool. It is the difference between reading everything you can about Senegal and going to that African nation. I am sure that is a poor comparison to the difference between how Y'shua/Jesus taught and how the scribes taught. The difference was immediately noticeable. Those who heard Y'shua in synagogue that morning were "astonished."
"they were astonished" NT:1605. Ekplêssœ, ekplêtt,; future. Explêx , 2nd aorist passive. Exeplág from ek (1537), an intensive, and plêss (4141), to strike. To strike out, force out by a blow, but found only in the sense of knocking one out of his senses or self-possession, to strike with astonishment, terror, admiration. In the NT only in the pass., to be struck with astonishment, admiration, to be amazed…. Followed by epí (1909), upon, with the dative.Y'shua sure gave them something to talk about. First they listened. He spoke to them in a way that no educated person had ever been able to speak. I can imagine that the same Torah portions they had been learning for as long as they could remember suddenly came alive! The Word was not just something to learn and try to conform to, it must have been exciting. They were knocked out of their normal into the realm of wow!
(from The Complete Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002 AMG International, Inc.)
Astonishment is not faith, even among those of us on a faith journey. We are no different then the educated scribe until we take a firm stand on the word. That morning in Synagogue the hearers would be given an opportunity to take a stand.
And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, "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." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. Mark 1:23-26Everyone has some kind of a reaction to the astonishing teaching of Y'shua. The "man with an unclean spirit," did as well. He (or the spirit) seems to attempt to control things with an arrogant fear.
Name it and claim it. Sometimes I listen to "Christians" go to war with the powers of darkness. I often wonder why we insist on taking our directions from the enemy play book instead of following Y'shua's example. In the same way that many so called exorcists try to get an advantage over some "demon of lust" or other dark spirit, by naming the demon or his job, so this unclean spirit attempts to take the advantage in the synagogue. He names both Y'shua the Netzer and proclaims his position, The Holy One of God. I find those statements more powerful then the question, "Have you come to destroy us?"
There was drama, which we have come to expect in an epic battle of good and evil. But the drama was not from Y'shua. Only the demon put on a show. When it comes right down to it, a show is all the powers of darkness have left on this side of the cross. That does not speak well for us who fear them. The creatures of nightmares have no power in the light. I love the message of Ezekiel 28: 13-19 where the kings of the earth finally see Lucifer and are amazed that this is what they were so afraid of.
Y'shua offers no special prayer or incantation he does not cast a spell, preform a ritual or hold any powerful charm or prop. He does not call on the memory of some powerful past holy person (Apparently King Solomon was a popular person for exorcists to call on while preforming their rituals.) You can read about this practice in Acts 19: 11-20. Mark tells us that Y'shua did one thing. He quietly rebuked the unclean spirit to silence and ordered him out of the man. You would not be wrong to quote Y'shua as saying, "Shut up and get out." That was it. With one last display of temper-tantrum drama, the unclean spirit was gone. The room was brought to a whole new level of astonishment.
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." And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. Mark 1:27-28 RSVThat must have been quite a show. Y'shua was not there to preform. He came for the salvation of souls. He is interested in people, not the monsters of the darkness we call demons. He is first of all a teacher of righteousness. To amaze us is not his goal. Though the first miracle Mark records is the exorcism, and the exorcism does display the power of the Son of God over the darkness, that display is not the goal. Setting twisted souls free does not save them, it only gives them a chance to think clearly. Watching a demon get kicked to the curb does not save onlookers, no matter how amazed they are.
Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."
|Jess, Chloe and Bug-Bear|