A Year of Listening to Jesus Day 34 Mark 1:38

38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

Jesus has driven the demons out of a man by the power of his word. He has healed numerous people, including Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. But now he is moving on to the next town and for a very specific reason. He wants to preach the Gospel to them as well. That is why he came. It drove him. It consumed him. He launched his ministry by declaring that he came to preach Good News, freedom for the oppressed, the forgiveness of sins, captives set free.

We can never overestimate the critical task of spreading the Gospel. It is so easy for us to get distracted by so many things that seem to be important. Jesus could have easily been distracted by all sorts of things, opposition from his family, religious leaders who wanted to debate him, people with needs of every variety. But he kept his focus on declaring the Good News that salvation was available by following Him in faith.

The salvation Jesus preached about was not just a ticket to heaven. He offered a changed life here and now as well. That is obvious in the lives he changed and the message of freedom and abundant life that he preached. That new life was to be found in a relationship of trust, following Jesus no matter what.

Crucial to the task of following Jesus is being people who live life differently because of the new life we are given. It is also crucial that we proclaim the Good News to others as Jesus did. It is not enough to just live a nice Christian life and hope people get it. It is critical that followers of Jesus also preach the message, meaning we also declare and tell others what Jesus has done for us and what he can do for them.

A Year of Listening to Jesus The Power of The Word

Sorry for the hiatus of writing. It is amazing how a week of being down with an illness can put you weeks behind in so many areas of life. But we are back with A Year of Listening to Jesus.

 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” Mark 1:25

The Bible begins with God speaking and causing all creation to come into existence. The shear magnitude of the power of God’s voice and words is beyond what I can comprehend. That power is bound together with God’s authority as King. When He speaks, all creation must listen and obey.

When Jesus was confronted by a demon possessed man in the early days of his ministry the power of God’s Word became evident. The demon spoke through the man and challenged Jesus. But Jesus would have none of that and commanded the demon to be quiet and to release the man. As a result of just six words from Jesus the demon completely obeyed.

The crowd, including the religious leaders, were stunned at the authority that Jesus spoke with and that the demon obeyed him. This was unlike anything they had ever witnessed. For some it was a source of inspiration and encouragement. Here was a messiah whose words could bring healing and new life. For others it was a source of consternation and anxiety. Here was a man who could challenge their authority and cause them to lose control of their own destiny and power. They saw that they too would have to submit to such power and it did not sit well with them.

For 2,000 years people have had the same two reactions to the Bible. For many, it is God’s Word and a source of comfort and strength. The ability of the Bible to ease their anxiety, give them direction, instill confidence, and answer life’s most difficult questions, makes it a priceless resource. For others the call that Bible places on them for surrendering to God, giving up with idols, and admitting that they are not the center of the universe, maks the Bible a hard task master that they seek to remove from their lives.

If you were to go back and ask the demon possessed man who was freed by Jesus if he wanted his demons back or wanted to remain free, I am certain he would want to remain free. If you asked him his opinion of the words of Jesus I suspect he would want as much of those words spoken into his life as he could possibly get.

What is your reaction to the words of Jesus?