Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Demon-Possessed Man in the Synagogue

The story this past Sunday (in the three-year series) was about Jesus' preaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.  They were all astonished because He taught with authority, not as the scribes and the pharisees.  And there was this guy in their synagogue who started making a scene: "Hey, I know who You are.  You're the Holy One of God.  Did You come here to destroy us?"  And Jesus cast out the unclean spirit.  (It's Mark 1, if you're hunting for it.)

Pastor pointed out a small detail from the story that is easily missed.  This guy was a member of the synagogue.  Think about it.  You know what your church is like.  Visitors are noticed.  Somebody who is "in our church" is a member, not just somebody who happened to stop by for the day.  (And yes, I realize that the Bible doesn't unequivocally state this as an indisputable fact.  But still, it makes loads more sense than the alternative: "in their synagogue" would have more to do with being "in the congregation" than "in the building.")

So why did the demon throw his tantrum in response to Jesus' preaching?

Because He taught a different message than did the scribes and pharisees.

The demons are content to keep quiet when the churches are telling people how to be nice, how to be good citizens, how to improve themselves and their spirituality.  But when Jesus comes along with a weird and different message --forgiving people who don't deserve it-- the demons get hacked off.

The same thing happens today.  The devil is just hunky-dory with pastors who preach self-help messages, eco-loving messages, penance, etc.  But when the pastor calls people to repentance and extends God's mercy and peace to them, well, that's something the demons and the self-righteous just ain't gonna put up with.


No comments:

Post a Comment