Jesus is moving closer… and closer… The city is bustling faster… and faster… He isn’t stopping His stallion nor halting the pattern of His footprints imprinting in the sand. The movement of the Spirit hailing the dawning of the Lord’s day is swiftly propelling forward. When Jesus comes into town, He gets to work.
The synagogue is flowing with people in and out as He makes his way to the place of worship where His Father granted Israel to commune with Him. His holy house. His place of intimacy with the people. It’s the Sabbath day. The day meant to be holy before the Lord. A day of rest. A day of reprieve form the work week, but on this Sabbath day Jesus is still teaching and hastening to minister where a need beckons His presence. A man’s life forever changes because Jesus chose to work on Sunday.
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 21: Stamina
Verse 22: Authority
Verse 23: Allure
Verse 24: Being Known
Verse 25: Power
Verse 26: Results
Verse 27: New Doctrine
Verse 28: Fame
This week, we will dive into Mark chapter 1 verses 21-28 and get to know the marks of Jesus’ heart in this passage where a man enters the synagogue crying out for help. We learn from Jesus’ leadership and how He handles the situation while on the move ministering wholistically to the people. Jesus heart seeks to heal, renew, restore and revive. He brings light into the places where God’s light was meant to be shining, reminding us that He is the only hope for the world. The more we study Him, the more we know about Him. The more we know about Him, the more we fall in love with Him. The King of the universe.
Verse 21: The Mark of Stamina
“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.”
The earth spins on an axis He breathed in motion as the stars twinkle in the night. Sunlight beams into the atmosphere at daybreak as in the first days of creation.
Now it’s the Sabbath day and Jesus travels into Capernaum, north of the Sea of Galilee. The day of rest when God inhaled the Heavens’ breath of tranquility and rested on the 7th day of Creation. The day when workers relax and cities slow does for respite from the toil of the week. The day when God gave Israel a day off. A day to rest. A day to be with Him.
Here in Mark chapter 1, we see Jesus on the Sabbath, still working. Still ministering. Still grinding.
“Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4
In the gospels, Jesus ministered everyday.
Jesus teaches on His off days. On His Sabbath days.
Verse 21 says “on the Sabbath” Jesus went into the Synagogue and started teaching. He didn’t enter the Synagogue to listen to somebody else teach. He entered in to take the lead and teach Himself.
Jesus never runs of passion for the reason He came to earth: you. Even it means working on His day off, the Sabbath, Jesus is going to do whatever it takes to reach you.
God never sleeps. Never slumbers. Never idles. Never stops running the universe. He reigns on Sunday the same way He does Monday.
Jesus has no problem teaching on what could be His day off because He has something meaningful to say. We will hear more of what this content entails as we progress in the passage.
This verse also highlights the pace with which Jesus moves and speaks, saying “immediately” He entered.
Jesus teaches with urgency.
Before this, Jesus had been traveling and now they have come to Capernaum. It would seem natural that He would stop for a rest, maybe get something to eat or rest His feet for a while before moving on to the next task, but not Jesus. He goes from place to place, actively serving from city to city, town to town, person to person. He arrives in Capernaum and immediately walks into the synagogue to teach what He needs to say.
Capernaum was known for its trading industry, as a small town northwest of the Galilean sea. Many people would shuffle in and out of this town and do bartering. Fishing was also quite common in this town. Thus, people were used to working long hours and long weeks. Jesus knew this. I think this is one of the reasons why He chose to teach in the synagogue on the Sabbath. He relates to the people in this region who were used to working every day, showing them that He Himself is a Savior who never slumbers nor idles. This would also send a message to the priests and religious folks of the synagogue that working is not to be frowned upon but is to be respected.
Jesus works hard at what he does, travelling relentlessly and ministering faithfully wherever He goes.
Jesus is always on the move touching people’s lives, hearts and souls.
Stamina marks His ministry and His character, always moving forward with passion and purpose.
Working hard at what you do inspires the fruition of what you hope to come to pass.
We will notice in Mark’s gospel that Jesus does not take many breaks throughout His day of ministry. He makes time early in the morning and late in the evening to withdraw to a desolate place to be with His Father alone. To communicate with Him intimately in solitude and gain supernatural strength for the next day. We will see this repeatedly in the gospels. For example, in verse 35 of chapter 1 is talks about Jesus retreating to be alone at morning time “long before daylight.” He makes use of his time while others are sleeping.
How are you making the most of your time?
Don’t waste a moment.
Use the valuable time given to you to positively impact the sphere you are placed in.
Verse 22: The Mark of Authority
“And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
Jesus carries authority as the Son of God.
He is not just a man. He is not only God. He is both, man and God. Divine and human flesh merged into one to represent the essence of humanity and carry our burden to the cross and redeem our trajectory onward to Heaven.
When Jesus teaches, He does so with authority. Both in what He says and how He says it. There’s something captivating about someone who knows how to communicate words effectively and authoritatively. It compels the audience. It engenders trust.
Verse 22 says Jesus did not teach “as the scribes.” This tells us that the scribes did not teach with authority. They taught with hesitation and reluctance. They taught with ignorance regarding the scriptures and ignorance about who Yahweh is. Thus, they could not heal the people in their midst, even the man who walked into their very synagogue which we will read about in this study when we get to verse 23. But Jesus stands with authority, for He is the true King.
Jesus is the expert on everything.
When He marks you with His authority, you gain expert knowledge on anything and everything He imparts to you by His Holy Spirit.
People want to listen to someone who knows what they are talking about and carries expertise on a matter. Jesus does this and more.
Jesus is the ultimate authority on everything under the sun. On everything that pertains to life and the life to come. On Heaven. On doctrine. On you. He knows you… let Him closer into your life.
“Jesus came to them saying, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18
Jesus is the King of the universe and His words triumph over every other.
Listen to His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28
When you know Jesus Christ, you know what His voice sounds like.
I love the sound
of Your voice
when You whisper
Jesus speaks to love you and utter truth.
He speaks to strongly impart spiritual realities and the paradigm of Heaven. The standard of what is right according to God. Those who long for this mantle of purity and truth from God will listen to His words, as we see the people flock to Him the more the gospel progresses.
Verse 23: The Mark of Allure
“Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out.”
Places of worship attract the unclean to come and be cleansed.
Why did the unclean spirit walk into the synagogue? Because the man hosting this unclean spirit, or demon, knew he wanted healing and that the synagogue had promised to give that. He did not know how to ask for it, but something inside the man allured him inside.
The Spirit of God is alluring, even to the demons.
The church is alluring to a world looking for answers to their plight.
The word “unclean” in the Greek text is “akatharto.” This translates not only to the definition of unclean, but also impure or tainted. Furthermore, it describes the Levitical Law’s description of uncleanliness that separated a person from a holy God.
The man’s spirit is denoted as unclean, but he still came close to the place where God resided. This verse says he came “inside” the synagogue. This is marking a new era of the divine presence of the Messiah, whereby the unclean come close to Him and are set free. In the Old Testament Torah, uncleanliness meant unworthiness before God. But not now. Now, Jesus is initiating a new era of repentance and salvation where any soul can come forward to be met by His love.
Verse 24 says he “cried out.”
The evil spirit consuming him wanted God!
I love the tenacity of the man to keep crying out for God even though his condition made him anything but holy before Him.
Jesus heard him. And Jesus is going to heal him.
But until Jesus gets to him, all we know about this man is that his spirit is crying out for help and nobody else is listening. The scribes are not talking to him. The priests are not going to him. The people inside are ignoring him. Why won’t anybody help the man?
I wonder how long the man had been inside the synagogue crying out for help.
Do you hear others when they cry out for help?
Or do you turn your head and look the other way?
When everyone else deserts, Jesus come close.
The difference between an unclean spirit and a clean spirit is the decision your heart makes: the moment where you are willing for Jesus to heal you.
This is the difference between salvation and the rejection of God. Every person was born into sin, but every person also has the same offer of salvation to be made clean and whole by His love.
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
Do you want Jesus to cleanse you?
Say yes to Him and let Him touch you with His love. A love that heals no matter who you are.
Verse 24: The Mark of Being Known
“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!”
Every spirit knows Jesus is the Son of God.
The spirit inside of the man says that he doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus. Yet it’s inside Jesus’ place of worship, where His Father in Heaven is glorified and His scriptures are spoken that the man has chosen to walk into. He says he does not want Jesus. But here he is. I think he does want Jesus. It’s the evil spirit tormenting him that fears the power of Jesus and does not want the man to be healed. The evil spirit wants to keep ownership over the man, so that the man cannot operate freely nor function in autonomy.
Verse 24 says the spirit in the man shrieks at Jesus saying, “Did you come to destroy us?” Thus, the unclean spirit knows Jesus is capable of such action. Jesus can squash the evil spirit if he wants to and this would be good for the man. Then the man can be freed from the tormenting control of the unclean spirit controlling him.
Do you let anything control you other than God?
If so, that is an unclean spirit. Controlling spirits are evil spirits. Stay away from them. Cast it away and be done with it.
No one has authority to control you except for God. And God does not attempt to control you, He invites you to choose Him. He looks to have a free relationship with you grounded in love and your acceptance of Him as King.
God does not want a forced marriage.
He wants a love story.
He wants you to know Him intimately, through relationship with Him.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever will believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
God wants you to choose Him. He wants freedom and love for you in every way Heaven gives it.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1
When Jesus reads this verse, He describes who He is and what He desires to do for His people. Listen to His heart… it’s saturated with loving-kindness and deliverance.
This is His heart for you! With every word He speaks He is trying to be known by you and invite you into knowing Him. Trust His love for you.
Jesus will walk into the synagogue in Luke’s gospel and read this verse from Isaiah in Luke 4:14. It’s a prophetic utterance from the prophet Isaiah that speaks of Jesus’ mission. Here this mission is unfolding before our eyes in the synagogue. Soon, we will see Jesus heal this man with the unclean spirit ruling him, liberating him into freedom.
Jesus will be known as the liberator of all mankind.
Verse 25: The Mark of Power
“But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him.”
Jesus silences untruth and exorcizes demons.
When Jesus rebukes the man, he rebukes the unclean spirit but he spares the man. He does not harm the man in the process. Why does he tell the unclean spirit to be quiet? Because the unclean spirit’s words are against the agenda of God: liberation.
The unclean spirit wanted to hold the man captive. Jesus wants to deliver him.
The unclean spirit wanted to separate the man from Jesus. Jesus wants to bring him close.
The unclean spirit wanted to control the man. Jesus wants to liberate him.
So Jesus says “come out of him.” In other words, you have no more jurisdiction over his body and mind. You are not allowed into his space anymore. You are not allowed to plague him anymore. Be gone!
Jesus frees the man when he banishes the unclean spirit from him. This is the mark of power. The mark of Jesus’ divine nature as the Son of God who possesses power over every spirit and subdues them under the reign and rule of God.
“Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” 1 Peter 3:22
Jesus rules with higher power coming from the Father in Heaven.
Jesus carries power to separate the spirits, good and evil. Because His own spirit is innately pure and good. He cannot be corrupted by anything. Humans can be vulnerable to sin and unclean spirits but Jesus cannot. This is why only He can cast out the spirits. Soon, however, Jesus is going to grant power to the twelve disciples to cast out evil spirits in His name, showing us that by His own Holy Spirit, miracles can be performed.
By chapter 3 of Mark’s gospel, the disciples will be given this power from Jesus.
“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” Mark 3:14-15
Jesus marks the disciples with power because of their choice to follow Him. Jesus wants His disciples to carry the power He does. Jesus leads with generosity in sharing this supernatural power so that others may multiply in reaching the earth with salvation and healing.
fill me with Your power
so the world may see the hour
where You reign as King
Verse 26: The Mark of Results
“And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.”
Jesus’ power produces results.
There is never a word spoken that returns empty or unfulfilled. There is never a healing uttered, or a miracle promised that doesn’t manifest. It always manifests. It always comes true. What Jesus speaks, happens.
Jesus tells the unclean spirit to come out. And it does.
Verse 26 says “he came out of him.” The Greek words here for “came out” is “exothen ex.” It’ describes a propositional reality of placement/action in relation to the object. If something has come out then it is no longer a part of the substance anymore. It’s when something is still embedded in a person, that it cannot be subdued. So Jesus says… come out! You are no longer a part of the man!
Now, before the unclean spirit does come out of him, there is a wailing period. A moment in time where the unclean spirit cries out loud even though Jesus said not to. The unclean spirit does not want to yield to Jesus, and it does not want to obey Jesus, but it knows it has no choice. When it comes to demons, they do what God tells them to do in the end. And there is no mercy for an evil spirit attempting to ruin a human God created in His own perfect image.
Sometimes before the miracle happens, there will be a wailing period. A moment in time where what Jesus said hasn’t yet manifested. And it causes pain, confusion, angst, while you wait. Don’t lose heart… what Jesus said… will happen. Jesus’ power makes things happen.
Jesus marks His words with results when He speaks it the first time. He already knows what will unfold.
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:8
Do you trust that God will deliver?
Wait on Him…
“But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25
Patience is a virtue of His heart.
Patience is a mark of love, as 1 Corinthians 13 aptly says.
Results comes from patience, waiting for the rosebud to bloom like you know it will when the sunlight shines upon it. A garden grows with the seasons and the timing of the sun. Let God have His way as your garden blooms in His light. He knows the beauty He wants to create for you… and His gardens are worth waiting for.
Verse 27: The Mark of New Doctrine
“Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority, He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
Jesus teaches new doctrine of the coming Kingdom of God.
This is His doctrine, whereby unclean spirits listen to His voice and obey Him. Whereby unclean spirits leave and hearts are freed in the light of His face. Whereby Jesus is King and everything falls underneath that opposes His sovereignty and Kingship.
The scribes say, “what is this?” They have never heard anyone like Jesus before. Jesus is unlike anyone else. He reigns supreme. He reigns over all, period. What He teaches is the standard and the paradigm by which all things align with. If Jesus says a word, then that word is the prevailing standard.
He speaks with authority.
He speaks with commands.
He speaks and they obey.
When Jesus speaks, He commands every spirit to fall either in line with His or out of line depending on their choosing. It’s a natural reaction for anyone in close proximity to Him.
What doctrine are you listening to? Jesus’ words? Or someone else’s?
Jesus’ words come from His own mouth, from His own Spirit. They are potent words. Powerful words. Memorable words. So memorable, that Mark himself was able to write this gospel from his own memory because he knew the words of Jesus so deep in his heart, that those words became embedded into his own brain.
Jesus marks you with His new doctrine of salvation when you come to know Him as Lord.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33
God planned it from the beginning… to be the sole winner of His people’s hearts. He wants to love you. His new covenant marked a new era of salvation by grace, where Jesus’ blood is the sacrifice covering all sin for all time.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
Listen to His words of new love over you.
Listen to His words of new nature over you.
Listen to His words of new life over you.
Get God’s word in your heart so deeply that you know it from memory.
Don’t be the one who says “what is this?” when Jesus speaks His doctrine. He gave us His word so that we would know it by heart, inside and out. You have every capacity to know His word! Taste the flavor of it…
“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Whatever comes out of God’s mouth is a worthy word.
Live on the tastiness of His mouth. His heart. His soul. His words.
I love Your words, God
Verse 28: The Mark of Fame
“And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.”
The universe knows the name of Jesus.
Now, the whole region of Galilee knows it too.
Everyone will know it in all of Rome and Europe alike as well, when Jesus gives His life for mankind.
It’s His mission. His purpose. To lay down His life for those He loves. It’s only a natural reaction that people find out about who He is. Jesus never spread His name nor His Kingship as Son of God. In fact, we will see as we progress in Mark’s gospel Jesus zeal to be kept hidden for a season so that He can further His mission as much as possible before provoking too many rifts with the religious folks of the day.
Now it’s 2022 and the earth still revolves around His divinity as time itself rest on the fulcrum of Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD).
Jesus is the center of the universe.
Mark highlights the rapid spread of Jesus’ fame using the word “immediately” here at the beginning of the sentence. It did not take long for everyone to find out who He was. He constantly moved about the region teaching, healing, and performing miracles. His fame rose for a reason. The people loved Him. They wanted more of Him. They felt the hope of His appearance and knew the Messiah had come.
Jesus’ Name brings hope to all mankind.
When Jesus teaches truth, His fame spreads as a result. It’s inevitable that all will know Him when He speaks a word… the whole world was made to hear His voice.
Jesus is the most famous One in the universe.
The mark of fame will be a mark that carries Him to the cross.
The more that the religious leaders hear of Jesus, their jealousy increases and they plot to end his life. Little do they know, God is in charge of even this. He knows what will befall Jesus as He walks the earth and He knows the path that awaits him.
Sometimes, with more accolades and prestige comes more persecution. Stay faithful to the mission at hand.
God honors His son Jesus because Jesus is worthy of that honor.
“That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11
When Jesus receives glory, God receives glory.
God honors you too… as His precious son or daughter made in His own image. When you honor His name, you bring honor to your own identity because you affirm the dna of your own thumbprint. Give Jesus the glory and honor He deserves and you will be honored in turn.
“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land.” Psalm 85:9
Jesus name blesses your land.
Jesus’ fame blesses the earth.
I love Your name Jesus
lovely and beautiful
holy and lyrical
I love to say Your Name
My Favorite Takeaway from the Passage
“Then they all were amazed…” Mark 1:27
Jesus amazes everyone.
He’s God… He’s royal… He’s regal… He’s meek… He’s powerful… He’s gentle… He’s ferociously zealous in love. How could I be anything other than amazed by You, God.
I love how Mark highlights this epiphany of amazement in the passage when he talks about the religious leaders’ reaction to Jesus. They knew he was different than anything they had encountered before. They did not know how to receive Him. But the people did. The hearts who longed for Him did. The souls who welcomed Him did. The ones who wanted them were both amazed and delighted He dwelt among them. To save them. To be their God. To be their Messiah.
He amazed me… the first time He met my heart in the twinkle of the starlight glimmering. He amazed me… the next time He found me in the moonlight.
He amazes me… every time He scoops me up and lifts me off the ground to say I love you. He amazes me… anytime His love woos me in the sunrise or in the sunset. He will keep on amazing me… all the time. Because I want Him to. I ask Him to. He tells me to be His forever. I’ll always be Yours forever, Jesus.