Declared by demons
II. Proclaimed by people
III. Understood by us
Mark 1:21-28 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came,
Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were
amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority,
not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who
was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “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!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of
him!” 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with
a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other,
“What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders
to evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over
the whole region of Galilee. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God, dear Christian friends, Have you ever been in that embarrassing situation when you spotted someone
from a distance away, you walked up to them and said, “Hey, I know you who are! You
are so and so!”, only to find out that you were dead wrong? That person walking by you
on the bluff wasn’t George Clooney, like you had thought. That lady in the airport only
looked like Beyonce. A case of mistaken identity can happen to all of us and can be rather
embarrassing. After a sincere apology to the not-so-famous person and after retelling the
story a number of times to family and friends, the incident is usually forgotten and no one
is hurt. The same, however, can not be said when the identity of Jesus is mistaken! The
final result for those who do not know who Jesus is and do not trust in him for eternal life
will be hurt— beyond our ability to comprehend— in the eternal fires of hell. Let’s make
sure that we can clearly, confidently and confessionally say, JESUS, I KNOW WHO YOU
ARE! This has been I. Declared by demons II. Proclaimed by people and III.
Understood by us.
Jesus and his newly-called disciples went to Capernaum, and when the
Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. Jesus was slowly,
JESUS, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
I. Declared by demons
II. Proclaimed by people
III. Understood by us
2 but surely, getting out and about among more and more people and getting out the
message of the kingdom of God so people could learn that he was the promised Messiah,
the Savior of the world.
The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who
had authority, not as the teachers of the law. All the other teachers of Jesus’ day
would rely on the words and wisdom of others who had gone before them in order to
impress on their listeners that what they were teaching was true and why they should
listen to them. Meanwhile, Jesus taught differently, powerfully, uniquely. His doctrine
was more gospel-based rather than law-based. His message was from God rather than
from man. His teaching was founded on his own words rather than on others’ words.
Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil 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!”
Jesus is the Holy One of God! This true statement was even declared by
demons! But that is not such a good thing. Demons belong in the den of the devil, who
is the father of lies (Jn 8:44), and therefore they are unable to be trusted.
So, Jesus said sternly, “Be quiet!” “Come out of him!” This was not the only
time in Jesus’ ministry that a demon declared correctly who Jesus was. In all these cases,
Jesus immediately silenced the demons because a known liar would not be believed even
if he was telling the truth.
The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. As
always, demons must submit to Jesus! As spirits created by him, they must cower to the
command of their Creator. As spirits subdued by him, they must surrender to the
statements of their Savior!
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A
new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they
obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
Now the people were doubly amazed! They had heard his teaching, which was
itself authoritative, but now they had seen his power over demons! Now we are talking
authoritative! Had social media been available back then as it is now, the posts would
have been flying and the inboxes would have been filling up! The people had news to
share and they did it in ways available to them! The people proclaimed throughout
Galilee that they knew who Jesus was!
Are you ready to declare as the demons did and proclaim as the people did? Are
you confident to say, “Jesus, I know who you are! You are the Holy One of God!”?
Your sinful nature says it is impossible and unnecessary. How can Jesus be both
God and man when your scientific reason says that is impossible? Why did Jesus have to
be both God and man to save you when your proud self says that is unnecessary because
you can take care of your own soul, tally up enough good works and transport yourself
right into heaven?
Satan does not want you to say that Jesus is the Holy One of God. Even though
he and his demons know it is the truth, they want you to end up where they are— in hell
because they denied Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They do not want you to say it
because it can lead others away from their currently-reserved place in hell.
3 The sinful world around you does not want to hear you say it. They are content to
live the way they want to live and not be bound by an old-fashioned ogre’s list of rights
and wrongs. They are intent to focus on themselves for this life and for the life to come.
But you can say it and you need to say it!
By your baptism, God enabled you and empowered you to be able to say, “Jesus, I
know who you are!” By your baptism, Jesus removed your sin and its punishment and
brought you into his kingdom of grace by making you his child of faith. By your
baptism, Jesus called you to be his own and commissioned you to be his witness.
By his Word, Jesus tells you and the evolutionist that he was there in the
beginning and will be there at the end and will direct all things in between. By his Word,
Jesus tells you and the skeptic that there is absolute truth. By his Word, Jesus tells you
and the abortionist and the adulterer and the anarchist and the apathetic that he lived
perfectly as your replacement and shed his blood for the forgiveness of every sin.
So, say with the demons, “Jesus, I know who you are!” Say with Old Testament
Job, “Jesus, I know that [you] my Redeemer live[s], and that in the end [you] will
stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will
see [you]; I myself will see [you] with my own eyes— I and not another. How my
heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27). Say with the Apostle John, “Jesus, I know
that [you] have come and [have] given us understanding, so that we may know [you]
who is true. And we are in [you] who is true— [you are] the true God and eternal
life” (1 Jn 5:20).
We are in the middle of the church year season called Epiphany, a season in
which we focus on Jesus as the Savior for all people. He is Savior for the Wise Men who
came to worship him. He is Savior for John the Baptist who went before him and
baptized him. He is Savior for all the disciples who were called to follow him. He is
Savior for all
Jesus is the Holy One of God! Don’t mistake him for just another person or just a
celebrity or just a prophet or just a good example to follow! He is your Savior!