Jesus Let Loose

JESUS LET LOOSE

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 as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law (Mark 1:21-22).

Jesus was ready. He had bent all His energies towards this moment when He could do what He was born to do, to reveal the Father to His people. He had gone through the school system of His day to become a rabbi – a recognised teacher of Torah. From early childhood He had memorised and been coached in the Torah, the five books of Moses upon which the rest of the Holy Scriptures depended.

Over and above His training as a rabbi, Jesus was recognised as one having authority – s’mikah. That gave Him the right to choose men to follow Him and learn to be like Him so that they could pass on what He taught about the Torah which was uniquely His interpretation – His yoke.  Unlike the “teachers of the law”, He was not bound by the yoke of the ancient rabbis and the rabbis of His day who had s’mikah.

The people of Capernaum were used to the “teachers of the law” who taught in the synagogue every Sabbath. Whoever they were, they all had the same thing to say. They simply regurgitated what others taught about the way of Yahweh. To them the Torah was a book of general rules, but it was left to the authoritative teachers to fill in the missing bits. This resulted in a religion of intricate instructions about everything which were constantly debated and which left the common people confused and in fear of upsetting God by not doing what He demanded.

Jesus had a different story to tell. He spoke about the way God ran things which they had lost in the maze of humanly imposed interpretations. The real God was obscured by all this stuff that had been heaped upon what He had said. The real God was not anything like they made Him out to be. He wasn’t some tyrant who was fanatical about their keeping His rules and punished anyone who dared to step out of line. He was a loving Father who taught them how to live so that they could enjoy the best life.

The people were amazed. How could anyone say things like that? Jesus was making God out to be nice. What authority did He have to do that? Who gave Him the authority to tell them things about God that they hardly believed possible? Was He just making it up or was God as loving, caring and merciful as He made Him out to be?

Jesus’ teaching not only stirred up the ordinary people; it also got the religious teachers going. What He taught was not what they taught. They were losing credibility because the people loved what He had to say about God and His kingdom, and He seemed to know what He was talking about. But not only did He tell them about this nice God who was their Father, He also showed them what He meant, by healing sick people and restoring disable people. The religion teachers had no answer for that!

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 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 all over the region of Galilee(Mark 1: 23-27).

It was all about authority. Never in their lifetime had the people been exposed to a rabbi who said and did things with such authority that He could literally chase demons out of a man. One minute the man was crazy and the next he was completely sane and they had no answer for it.

Strange, isn’t it that the only one in the synagogue who knew who He really was, was the demon who held the man prisoner? He belonged to the unseen world. He represented the arch enemy of the one whom Jesus represented. He was there to create as much havoc in the human world as he could. He was the opposite of everything Jesus represented and stood for.

Here was Jesus’ opportunity to show His people what He meant when He told them that God’s kingdom was near. With a single command He evicted the squatter and set the man free from his tormenting presence. That’s what the kingdom of God is all about – living free from all the slave-drivers that control our lives – emotions, habits, moods, beliefs and attitudes and whatever dominates our thinking and behaviour that holds us in bondage.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour (Isa. 61: 1-3).

This was His mission, and He had authority from above to do everything He was commissioned to do.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

Available on www.amazon.com or www.kalahari.com in paperback, e-book or kindle format, or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

Check out my blogsite at www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com

Luella Campbell


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