Mark 1:21–28 ‘The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching – and with authority!”’ (v27a)
This opening chapter of Mark paints a picture of who Jesus is. Having gathered His team of disciples, His first public actions are to teach and cast out an evil spirit.
The priority of teaching/preaching has always been clear to the Church and, indeed, Mark will underline Jesus’ priority later in this chapter when He passes up an opportunity to heal because He has other villages where He needs to preach.
The crowds spot that this man’s message has a power to impact more than the pedestrian approaches of the priests.
But casting out demons has been less of a priority for the Church. John would later say that ‘the Son of God appeared’ that He might ‘destroy the devil’s work’ (1 John 3:8) and Mark selects this story to underline that Jesus came to render the devil powerless.
His whole ministry was a full-frontal assault on the evil one and his minions, culminating in Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, which would deal a vital blow and serve notice that one day evil will finally be over.
The surprised onlookers have the double whammy of teaching and exorcism to handle. All of which is a reminder that there are no demilitarised zones.
As Christians we have power over the devil in Jesus’ name, but we are foolish to overlook him. And although church does rather more preaching than exorcising, this work is a necessary part of our arsenal.
Maybe it’s time that situations you know were brought back under the lordship of Jesus?
A Prayer To Make:
Thank You, Jesus, for Your power over the evil one. I stand in Your power and goodness today. Amen.
An Action To Take:
Ask yourself whether there are situations where the enemy may be getting a foothold and pray in Jesus’ name.
Scripture To Consider:
Isa. 14:12–15; Ezek. 28:11–19; Col. 2:9–15; Eph. 6:10–20