Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY JAN. 6, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He [Jesus] entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, saying, ‘Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God!’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’”

“And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He [Jesus] commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’ And immediately His fame spread throughout the region around Galilee.” Mark 1.21-28

Something To Consider:
Once again Jesus retreated to Capernaum, the village of comfort. And as was His custom on the Sabbath, Jesus was found in the synagogue teaching. The people of Capernaum were astonished and amazed at His teaching for His teaching was unlike others. His teaching of the Word of God was with authority. We must keep in mind that Jesus was the Word of God come in the flesh.

John’s opening words of his gospel should always be upon the monitor of our minds. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus of Nazareth, the very Word of God, was acknowledged by demons as having authority over them. How much more should His authority be welcomed by the world today and by those called by His name?

And yet, we know it to be just the opposite. Jesus’ authority has for the most part been rejected by the world and by every generation since. Yes, in every nation, state, and city, community churches are plentiful and yet, the authority of Christ is not allowed to reign. What is it that does reign supreme in the so-called sanctuaries of religion is man-made traditions, false teachings, and doctrines of demons? But how can that be?

The apostle Paul gives us clear insight into the reason of the rejection of Jesus’ authority in Ephesians 4 beginning in verse 17, by stating; “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles [non-believers] walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

Paul continued in verse 20 by acknowledging; “But you [born again true believer] have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him [Jesus], and have been taught by Him [Jesus, the Word of God], as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man [unconverted person] which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Something Else To Consider:
How is it, we might ask, that there was a man with an unclean spirit, a demon possessed man sitting in their synagogue, a place designated for the worship of God? And yet, the same question should be asked and answered today of the many churches that fill the cities, country sides, hill places, and valleys of every state, country, and nation of this world.

The words spoken by Jesus were recognized as having authority that astonished the people. And that divine and God granted authority was acknowledged by demons, though that same authority was rejected then and still is now by many men, women, and young people of this 21st century generation!

The demon knew Jesus by name, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth?” Is that not the very same cynical cry of millions of maddened men, women, and young people in every generation including this 21st century generation? Many may be astonished at Jesus’ teaching, and even acknowledge His authority, but they still stubbornly remain steadfast in their wanting nothing to do with Him and His rightful authority over their lives.

How shameful and how sad it is to refuse Jesus Christ of Nazareth, our only hope of ever gaining the forgiveness of our sins, the grace of God, and His new every morning mercy that is so readily available to all true enduring to the end saints of God. Jesus is our only hope and our only help in living victorious overcoming lives over the power of sin, death, and the grave.

Something More To Consider:
In the last chapter of Ephesians, Paul wrote, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil.” As we draw nearer to the end of man’s lawless rule and ruthless reign upon the earth, Satan’s sinful schemes and power grab will increase in the earth. We must as true end time believers learn to stand against Satan and stand up for Jesus Christ and God’s living and more powerful Word of God, or we will fall prey to the wide-spread end time deception from hell, and yet, delivered by man and man-made religious organizations!

Paul continued in verse 12 of Ephesians chapter 6, by declaring; “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood [human resistance], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Therefore, we need spiritual protection and divine provision if we are to endure to the end of what is coming and has already begun to be unleashed by the enemy of our souls.

Jesus faced down the unclean spirits of His day in the power and authority of the Word of God. How can we think we could ever stand against demonic influences without the authority of God’s Word in and over our lives? Paul ended his biblical treatise on spiritual warfare with these words; “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day [fast approaching end times], and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth [the truth of the written and preserved Word of God].”

A Few Final Words:
It is because of Christ being the Word of God come in the flesh, that men were astonished at His teaching. The same is also true of Jesus that demons obeyed His every command and were quick to acknowledge Him as the Holy One of God. And yet, we humans, God’s greatest creation, find it so difficult to submit ourselves to the overwhelming authority of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Why is that?

Why is the divine message of Jesus, the Word of God, the Son of God, so offensive to the human race that the majority of every generation would prefer to live their lives without Jesus, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God? Because the message of Jesus, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God, all bring conviction to the sin filled heart and soul of the human race. And the more we resist the true message of Jesus, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, we reject the love of God and His forgiveness of our sins.

And without the forgiveness of our sins we are destined to die in our sins. Yes, without the forgiveness of our sins we continue to live according to our flesh and its evil desires which runs contrary to holiness and righteousness, of which without, no man, no woman, and no young person will ever see God nor enter into the kingdom of God. We are told of those in Capernaum, “And they were astonished at His [Jesus’] teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes [religious leaders of Jesus’ day].”

Successful spiritual leaders, unlike simply religious appearing scribes of any and every generation, having been given authority from heaven, must first have become leaders in training who have remained astonished at the teaching of Jesus. That is why this According To Jesus website focuses its attention on these lessons of a lifetime pertaining to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Are we astonished at the teaching of Jesus, or can we simply take it or leave it? Be careful how we answer that question!

Our Father in heaven, may we always be astonished at Your Son Jesus’ teaching, and acknowledge His divine authority in and over our lives. In Him Always, Amen!

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