The four Gospels record 37 miracles of Jesus, and the Gospel of Mark stands out for recording the most.
In Mark Chapter 1 alone we find four accounts of deliverance, and these amazing stories all come together in a single 24-hour period in Jesus’ ministry—a day in the life of Christ that gives us an indefensible argument for why we’ve been preaching on the kingdom of darkness.
Reading Mark’s Gospel is like a thrill ride—everything happens so fast. You’ll notice a particular word that’s used again and again: straightway. For example, in verse 21 above we see, “And they [Jesus and His disciples] went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught” (emphasis added). That word “straightway” is mentioned a whopping 19 times in the King James Version of Mark. It means quickly or done with expediency.
Where is Jesus going? Where He always went upon entering a new town: the synagogue. Picture this with me. Jesus and His disciples show up in Capernaum, and immediately Jesus makes a beeline for the synagogue, where He opens up a scroll and starts to teach from the Word. When He does, the Scripture says, “they were astonished at his doctrine” (v. 22). Notice that He has doctrine—not opinions or suggestions or commentaries. We’re living in a day when people no longer take the red-letter Word of Jesus seriously. But we aim to correct that.
The word “doctrine” means teaching, so if you take doctrine out of the Bible, you take teaching out of the Bible and it becomes a free-for-all, which is exactly what we see in most churches today. The Bible is not a buffet where you get to pick and choose what you want. You have to believe and obey the whole thing, even the parts that are difficult.
So, the congregation and clergy in the synagogue were astonished at His teaching. Why? Because He “taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” Right away that tells us that the scribes had no authority. They had the Law written in their scrolls. They had a bunch of rules and regulations, but they themselves had no authority.
When Jesus gave us the Word with authority, He was in effect giving us the authority of His Word. When we discuss the power in “the name of Jesus,” we’re pointing to this authority. If the church wants to start operating in the power of this authority, we have to quit playing games and start preaching what the Bible actually says—what Jesus actually says
Teaching the Word With Authority Causes Demons to Manifest
In the context of Mark 1:23-24, Jesus is in the midst of teaching, and the people are already astounded at the words coming out of His mouth, when suddenly a man with a demon begins to manifest and cries out (v. 23). It’s important to realize that it wasn’t the man who cried out; it was the unclean spirit inside the man. The demon inside him cried out while Jesus was preaching. Something in His preaching drew out that unclean spirit.
Now, here’s what Jesus did not do. He did not stop and say, “Sir, you have dared to disrupt this service. I’m going to have the ushers escort you out right now so I can return to My preaching and bring peace back to the service.” No.
As He always did (and I’ll surely remind you again), Jesus took the spirit out of the man and left the man in the synagogue, and then He used this event as a springboard to continue preaching the Word. This is how our churches must start to respond. It’s what Jesus did.