Thank you to all who have viewed this site. I never expected almost 600 page views in the first month. It is indicative of the drawing power of Jesus. Hopefully the visitors here will get a clearer picture of him as a result.
Jesus Casts Out An Impure Spirit
After the death of John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles began their teaching and preaching in Galilee in earnest. This tour started with Jesus teaching in the Capernaum synagogue.
Mark 1:21-28 (New International Version, ©2011)
Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
(1630.2) 145:2.6 “Have you not read these promises? Do you not believe the Scriptures? Do you not understand that the prophet’s words are fulfilled in what you behold this very day? And did not Jeremiah exhort you to make religion an affair of the heart, to relate yourselves to God as individuals? Did not the prophet tell you that the God of heaven would search your individual hearts? And were you not warned that the natural human heart is deceitful above all things and oftentimes desperately wicked? (1630.3) 145:2.7 “Have you not read also where Ezekiel taught even your fathers that religion must become a reality in your individual experiences? No more shall you use the proverb which says, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son. Only the soul that sins shall die.’ And then Ezekiel foresaw even this day when he spoke in behalf of God, saying: ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.’ (1630.4) 145:2.8 “No more should you fear that God will punish a nation for the sin of an individual; neither will the Father in heaven punish one of his believing children for the sins of a nation, albeit the individual member of any family must often suffer the material consequences of family mistakes and group transgressions. Do you not realize that the hope of a better nation — or a better world — is bound up in the progress and enlightenment of the individual?” (1630.5) 145:2.9 Then the Master portrayed that the Father in heaven, after man discerns this spiritual freedom, wills that his children on earth should begin that eternal ascent of the Paradise career which consists in the creature’s conscious response to the divine urge of the indwelling spirit to find the Creator, to know God and to seek to become like him. (1630.6) 145:2.10 The apostles were greatly helped by this sermon. All of them realized more fully that the gospel of the kingdom is a message directed to the individual, not to the nation. (1630.7) 145:2.11 Even though the people of Capernaum were familiar with Jesus’ teaching, they were astonished at his sermon on this Sabbath day. He taught, indeed, as one having authority and not as the scribes. (1630.8) 145:2.12 Just as Jesus finished speaking, a young man in the congregation who had been much agitated by his words was seized with a violent epileptic attack and loudly cried out. At the end of the seizure, when recovering consciousness, he spoke in a dreamy state, saying: “What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? You are the holy one of God; have you come to destroy us?” Jesus bade the people be quiet and, taking the young man by the hand, said, “Come out of it” — and he was immediately awakened. (1631.1) 145:2.13 This young man was not possessed of an unclean spirit or demon; he was a victim of ordinary epilepsy. But he had been taught that his affliction was due to possession by an evil spirit. He believed this teaching and behaved accordingly in all that he thought or said concerning his ailment. The people all believed that such phenomena were directly caused by the presence of unclean spirits. Accordingly they believed that Jesus had cast a demon out of this man. But Jesus did not at that time cure his epilepsy. Not until later on that day, after sundown, was this man really healed. Long after the day of Pentecost the Apostle John, who was the last to write of Jesus’ doings, avoided all reference to these so-called acts of “casting out devils,” and this he did in view of the fact that such cases of demon possession never occurred after Pentecost. (1631.2) 145:2.14 As a result of this commonplace incident the report was rapidly spread through Capernaum that Jesus had cast a demon out of a man and miraculously healed him in the synagogue at the conclusion of his afternoon sermon. The Sabbath was just the time for the rapid and effective spreading of such a startling rumor. This report was also carried to all the smaller settlements around Capernaum, and many of the people believed it. (1631.5) 145:2.17 And these cases are typical of the manner in which a wonder-seeking generation and a miracle-minded people unfailingly seized upon all such coincidences as the pretext for proclaiming that another miracle had been wrought by Jesus.
The comparisons in the teaching shown here merely show that the people of Jesus’ time were miracle seeking, as well as very interested in Jesus’ new teachings about their relationship with God the Father as being personal rather than tribal (collective). The New Revelation adds detail, and also reports what Jesus was teaching about in the Synagogue, which isn’t in the Bible version. However, the Bible teachings are consistent and make the Message of Jesus about God the Father very clear once the Gospels are read all the way through.
I might add that Jesus has provided a way for all who believe in him to expect eternal life after death, sealed forever through his resurrection and then his sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, as promised.
Through one prism, it can be seen that the world has as many problems facing mankind today as it did in Jesus’ time; poverty, wars, unemployment, disease, divorce, displaced populations, etc. The difference is that today about a third of the world’s population embrace a religion about Jesus, and many of those believe in the religion of Jesus. He provides a great deal of comfort for believers, despite their circumstances. Faith is the only balm for the suffering of so many, and it’s free for believers, whether rich, middle class or poor, young or old. The promise of a better life in the future is a heartwarming hope as well.