Yesterday’s sermon – Sunday 29 January

Yesterday’s sermon was based on Mark 1:21-28, the story of Jesus driving out an evil spirit from a man in the synagogue in Capernaum.  We thought primarily about what this (and the reactions of the people to Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue before the exorcism) might have to say about Jesus’ authority.

Authority often seems to be a dirty word these days: we don’t like being bossed around.  Yet Mark here presents a whole town (almost) as being amazed by Jesus’ authority: in his teaching (which Mark says was like nothing they’d heard before) and in his freeing the possessed man.

So what’s going on?

We suggested that Jesus’ authority was something that liberates: rather than seeking to control and exercise power over people (as a “bossy” authority would), Jesus brings an authority that somehow sets people free.  It is an authority that exercised over the things that hold people, that prevent them from coming to God; it doesn’t seem to be exercised over people themselves (in the sense of controlling them, putting them down).

(None of this is to deny the ancient Christian truth that “Jesus is Lord”.  It’s to simply say that this Lordship, which we submit to, is often not the same as the lordship the powerful in our world often exercise.)

We then thought about some of the things that might hold us: fears & worries; sins; things that have hurt us in life.  Finally, we went through a short time of imaginative prayer, picturing ourselves in the synagogue and bringing just some of those things that hold us to Jesus.

The notes (and they are notes – I hope the above helps explain them!) are attached below; please read them and comment on what you think of them!

Amazed By Authority

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Posted by Stephen

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