Foreground: Remember the Gospel story where Jesus cleanses the Temple? In Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus overturns tables, drives out money changers, and clears the walkway through an overly crowded area, so people could get back to worship.
Earlier than this, Jesus cleansed a synagogue. Although Mark sets that first chapter episode in Capernaum, it’s quite possible something similar occurred in synagogues throughout the region. Regardless of where or how often this happened, these spiritual cleansings consistently cleansed and cleared away the unclean, for no spirit in heaven or on earth can outrank, overcome, or overpower the Holy Spirit of God, given to us in Christ.
God gave us free will to choose life or death, love or hate, care or apathy, good or evil, clean or unclean, but spirits have no choices or decisions to make. They must obey God in the power and authority of Jesus’ Name.
In Capernaum the Sabbath came,
and Jesus entered the synagogue,
astounding everyone with His teaching,
for, unlike anyone else, Jesus
taught with authority.
And as He taught in the synagogue,
a man with an unclean spirit came in and cried out,
"What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to get rid of unclean things?
I know Who You are – the Holy One of God."
But Jesus took command
over the unclean spirit, saying,
"Be quiet! Come out of him!"
And with a loud, deep-throated cry
or a horrible, horrendous screech,
the unclean spirit,
threw the man down –
threw him into convulsions,
but came out as commanded.
Amazed and awed, the people asked
each another, "What is this?
Have you ever seen such authority?
Even the unclean spirits obey
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrase of today’s Daily Bible Reading in Mark 1:21-28
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