This is such an amazing story. Imagine people so accustomed to the scribes telling them how to sift all of the flies out of their soup or keep every detail of a law, telling people that if they are really good (perfect) God will bless them, but if they screw up they will be punished by God and persecuted by the lawyerly scribes. Bummer! All of the sudden Jesus bursts through the doors and starts proclaiming His message from Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” In other words, the corrupt ruler of this world is about to be removed and eternally replaced by the king and creator of the universe. He loves and wants to save you so you can enjoy the unfathomably awesome life you were meant to live before Satan deceived Adam and Eve and stole it away. Stop serving that liar and become a believer in the God of salvation. Believing in Him is the work that will save you and only He can help you to do that. Don’t wait because you don’t know when it’s going to happen.
The people who were used to coming and doing their duties were amazed at the difference between Jesus and their usual teachers. They were inspired instead of burdened. Jesus had just told Peter, Andrew, James and John that He would make them fishers of men and they were more stoked than ever to be on board.
Immediately (in the classic style of Mark’s writing) a demon possessed man shouts out, “Leave us alone (remember, it’s one evil spirit possessing him so he must have meant the whole audience when he said “us”). What do we have to do with You Nazarene? We don’t care about what You care about or want what You want. Or did you come to destroy us?” The misleading questions he blurted out were confusing fear filling lies. Then he topped it all off by saying, I know who You really are...The Holy One of God, the Messiah! He was trying to fill the people with fear of punishment and judgement, but Jesus stopped him in his tracks. He didn’t back down but ordered the spirit to shut up and get out of the man. This showed what Jesus was really about...freedom from sin and freedom to love the God men and women were created for.
The spirit struggled but to no avail. After some ugly convulsions and a satanic scream it was gone. Talk about authority. Though the spirit fought to stay it was no match for the Word of God. The one the people had been waiting for had finally arrived. Speechless for a moment I can see them slowly breaking into applause that soon rivals that of a World Cup Soccer match. People exclaim, “Whoa! What was that? Who is this guy? What power! Even Satan and his evil angels have to bow to Him!” Jesus blew their minds like a hurricane and the news of His arrival spread like lightning. May that storm system role into our lives, shake us to the ground, and refresh us with the powerfully healing rain of His Spirit.