Notes on Mark’s Gospel (16)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Search Me O God (Chapter 1 Verses 21-28)

Not for one moment does the Lord allow the demons to testify. What they say may be right, but the forces of evil have nothing to add to the work of the Kingdom of God. Note also Jesus does not argue with them, he simply tells them. The Mighty Son of God displays his power, the demons are expelled and the man is free. The Lord Jesus once again impresses upon us the power, the authority of his word. Learn to trust his word, even as you read it today. The people’s minds are full of questions, ‘what is this’ v27? Yes, the Kingdom, the rule of God ‘has’ come. What refreshment! To a people bound by unhelpful religious tradition, hearts stone dead and in the grip of Satan, new teaching, new power, a new rule over evil and sin, to effectively cast it out, to heal and to save. As we contemplate God’s word often he reveals things within our own hearts that are unclean, he makes our consciences smart, sometimes we react the wrong way, we don’t like it. But beloved, God will take nothing from us, nothing, but what will harm us and damage our relationship to him. If he says it must go, then go it must, it is for our good. Trust him. This man would have a lot to think about, how he ever got into that condition? What other adjustments needed to be made in his life? Where he fitted in, in the system of God’s work now. He would have a lot of learning to do. Some today would of course have him travelling the ‘testimony circuit’ doing untold and perhaps irreparable damage to him. We can be sure he will have some place in the work of the kingdom, but his immediate business is to take his place under the ministry of the Church, and its leadership. The word of God, and its principles need to worked out and woven into the fabric of his life, his thinking transformed, a new mind-set (Romans 12.1-3).

What about the reaction of the synagogue congregation, the disciples of Jesus? When Jesus exercises his Divine power, he never plays with the emotions of people, notice there is no hullabaloo in the synagogue? Jesus allows no enthusiasm to run wild. Calmly, quietly he goes about his business, doing what must be done. It is important for the disciples too, because the way Jesus behaves ministerially is the way they will carry out their ministries in future days. They are watching him closely, learning all the time. And it’s important they learn the right way. Is there some young Christian in the fellowship, unknown to you perhaps, and they are watching and learning from you? Are they learning the right way (Titus 2.3-14)?

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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