Sabbath · Traditions

Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 14 – Unclean Spirit in the Synagogue

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

As my reader is purveying this post, I ask that you consider the relevancy of this situation to our current conditions within the modern church.

Mark 1:21-28

21  And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching.

Jesus went into the synagogue, obviously in an effort to keep the Sabbath.  Really?

Some may see Jesus attendance at a synagogue as proof that He keep the Sabbath, and that what the Jews were really upset about was their rules and not the 4th commandment.   I’m not convinced, since there are alternative reasons He attended.  Maybe He was looking for a captive audience, and audience that showed a desire (outwardly at least for some) for a knowledge of God.

Paul entered synagogues also, but he simply did that to find Jews gathered

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,

Again with unclean spirits in a synagogue.  It seems the the Jewish nation was becoming familiar with familiar spirits (That wordplay may only reach those hardcore KJV folks!)

No matter, it is apparent that in the midst of Jesus ministry, unclean spirits are present.

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.”

In this case, the unclean spirit cried out statements of truth.

25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”

possessed man healedBe silent?

But these statements are true and on their own, are without contradiction.

The Holy One of God will destroy the unclean spirits.  (Check out the post “Perishing in Eternal Torment” for some thoughts on destruction)

But more importantly for you and I, He is the Holy One of God!

So why be silent?

You know, when a comedian gets on stage, and some heckler is mocking him, stealing the show, or even telling good things about the comedian, the comedian needs to evaluate whether the source is benefiting his show.

In no way am I equating Jesus with a comedian, but when this passage, and others like it, come up, I think of this illustration and remember the “consider the source!”

A dirty vessel only supplies dirty water – it is tainted,

Let us be clean vessels for the Master’s use.

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.”

It seems this is the only time Jesus performed a miracle on the Sabbath and didn’t get into a discussion with the Jews over it.  It may have been early on in His ministry, and the shock value of His authority and effective healing may not have settled into the leaderships conscience.  But it will, and they will realize that this teacher is going for the jugular!

28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

Is His fame spreading nowadays?  Let’s seek to be clean vessels.


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