They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee (Mark 1:21-28).
It’s a known fact that information alone cannot change you. You only change through some kind of tangible experience. This has huge implications for anyone desiring a transformational relationship with Jesus Christ. To be a true disciple of Jesus a person must remain fascinated with the person of Christ and his life-changing message. To be a true disciple of Jesus a person must listen to this matchless Teacher with a heart bent toward immediate, obedient response.
An uncomfortable truth for many to accept is that wholeness and holiness are not reserved for people who know a lot. If that were true the Pharisees, Sadducees and the teachers of the Law of Jesus’ day would have been the unmistakable heroes and spiritual giants in the gospel narratives. Clearly, their problem was not that they did not have enough biblical knowledge. They possessed more religious factoids than any other in their day. Yet these who knew more than most were utterly untouched and unimpressed by Jesus and his transformative message. Their calloused hearts were set against any sort of experiential encounter that they were unfamiliar with and could not claim control over. The bible and life itself testify that real transformation belongs only to the humble who are willing to be changed through a tangible encounter with the supernatural presence and truth of God.
And this indeed is what Jesus makes possible to anyone who has “ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church today.” As the Mark 1 text reveals, Jesus’ teaching was amazing compared to all the other teachers of his day. His teaching was with authority – an authority that caused his Word to work in transformational ways to any who would receive it. Jesus can rightly be described as the “Word-worker.” When Jesus spoke things happened…accept for those unwilling to listen and respond!
This reality makes me ask myself if I am honestly amazed at Jesus’ teaching. Does Jesus and his message truly fascinate me to the point of humble awe and holy surrender? Am I spiritually poised to radically respond to the revealed Word of God and the whispers of his Spirit? Or have I become numb and somehow impenetrable to the matchless love, truth and power of Jesus’ transformational revelation? And could it be that many of us have become seemingly over-familiar with the good news to such an extent that it doesn’t amaze us any more?
It’s time for me to once again repent and believe the good news of God. How about you?
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!