2/21: Surprise in the Church


Mark 1:21-27 and 34 recounts an incident when Jesus went to a Capernaum synagogue early in His ministry. A man possessed by an unclean spirit happened to be at the service. While Jesus was teaching (“as one having authority, and not as the scribes”), the man interrupted the sermon yelling out, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” (NKJ)

Jesus confronted the demon head-on and created quite a stir when the demon left the man on the Lord’s command. The passage tells us that the congregation – including the scribes – “were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’”

Wow, everyone was surprised to hear and see someone speak and act with authority in church. How sad! That demon-possessed man was probably at church every week. The sick (who weren’t ceremoniously unclean) were probably at church every week. Against the reality of Jesus’ presence, the synagogue leaders looked pretty bad because they merely spoke about God to the people; they didn’t have God speaking through them to the people.

Without the power of Christ’s presence, there will be no change in the crowd. Without the strength of Christ’s Spirit, there will be no transformation of the people.

What’s happening in our churches? Would we be so amazed to see God work that we’d be asking each other, “What is this,” or are we used to seeing God move in miraculous ways in people’s lives? Better yet, now that we have the Holy Spirit living within us, are we sitting quietly beside the sick and demon-possessed, or are we speaking up with authority, driving sickness and demons out of our midst?

Before Jesus returned to Heaven after His resurrection, he told His disciples, “As the Father sent me, I now send you” John 20:21 (NCV). Go in the power of His power and surprise some folks at church.


©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!



~ by sanewriter on February 21, 2013.

One Response to “2/21: Surprise in the Church”

  1. Hallelujah. Amen to that sista!

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