Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

January 31, 2021 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Newport-Mt. Olivet United Methodist Chur
311 Blue Grass Trail
Newport, VA
Morris Fleischer

Mark, more than any other Gospel writer, emphasizes Jesus’ miraculous power to heal and to exorcise.  Of the eighteen miracles recorded in Mark, thirteen have to do with healing.  Of these thirteen healing miracles, four are exorcisms.  The text says those who heard his teaching and witnessed Jesus’ first exorcism were “astounded” and “amazed.”  Given that we view the world through skeptical, post-modern lenses, how does Jesus’ authority and teaching continue to astound and amaze us?  Our message, Astounded & Amazed!, will come from Mark 1:21-28.

Mark 1:21-28 (NRSV)

21They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.  22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.  23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”  25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”  26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.  27They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this?  A new teaching—with authority!  He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”  28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

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