Mark 1:21-28 (NIV)
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.
Why do you suppose Jesus started his public ministry in a synagogue?
God, You are faithful. You have always been faithful. It is amazing to see the work of Your hands throughout history even during dark times. You used the Jewish captivity in Babylon for Your Good. When they were deprived of the Temple they created small informal gathering places to read the Scriptures. These places became synagogues. On being released from their exile, the Jews continued to meet for prayer and reading of the Scriptures, and they established synagogues everywhere the Jews went. You used the darkness of exile to create the foundation of synagogues and eventually churches throughout the world. Synagogues were houses of instruction and were ready-made venues for You to teach. Every town and village had at least one. You were able to speak directly to the people to teach and preach the gospel, to announce the good news in these smaller local synagogues. As people were converted, some synagogues converted to churches. Today Lord, our churches are the result of the Babylon captivity. You used what was dark for Your good. You showed us that speaking the gospel to the local people is the way to spread the Word. Lord, I pray that You use this dark time in history for Your good. I pray that You wake up today’s church to share the truth of Your salvation at local levels. Let Your Spirit change the hearts of all who need to hear Your Word. Spread Your truth throughout this land like wildfire just as You and Your apostles did when they taught in synagogues. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Let me trust that what you are doing today will be the seed for Your faithfulness tomorrow. Amen