- Lorie Hedgepeth
“...they were astonished at his doctrine”.
“And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Hold thy peace, and come out of him.’ And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.”
Regardless of which side of the pulpit you are on, if you love the Lord and His church, your heart’s desire is to see people saved and discipled for Christ. This is not an allusive dream - unattainable in today’s post-Christian culture. Although, it’s not always easy to know just what to do to bring that about. The same God that enabled the disciples to “turn the world upside down” with the message of Christ is able to help us win the lost. Jesus said that He would build His Church. It is a timeless promise made by the One who knew what each ministry generation would face in the future.
Jesus’ ministry in the synagogue that day was neither mundane nor mediocre. That which Jesus taught and preached did not blend in with the vain religious philosophies of that day….. and neither should ours. Verse 22 says, “they were astonished at his doctrine”. God’s Word preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit still has a “wow” factor that touches people regardless of their background.
Jesus’ ministry in the synagogue was not confined or limited to a teaching ministry. Jesus wasn’t there to share a culturally correct message. Jesus walked with God the Father in such a way that He possessed a keen sense of spiritual discernment. Intimacy with God produces a spiritual discernment that is much needed as we stand before those to whom we minister. The Presence of the Lord always disturbs those in the church that have unclean and/or rebellious spirits. Jesus chose to confront rather than counsel this individual. Jesus rebuked the spirit and demanded that he come out. Jesus never negotiated with the devil. In that moment, in that place, the demon spirit left that man and he was set free. The need to “free” that man exceeded every other consideration. Some would argue that such a thing would not be acceptable today and possibly viewed by some as neither “decent” or “in order”. More times than not, miracles are messy….they just don’t follow a prescribed pattern or program.
On that day and in that service, there was a demonstration of the supernatural power of God. Undeniably, Jesus’ ministry was marked by the miraculous. We need not think that people today need the supernatural power of God less than they did in Jesus’ day. If you’re looking for a method, model or means of ministry…..I recommend the “Jesus Model” …it worked then, and it will work now.
For The Harvest,