BROKEN THINGS/BEAUTIFUL THINGS
Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “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!”25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they 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.” 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee, and the back story…
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him (Luke 5).
An idyllic scene, ocean spray, kids playing in the sand, Boats returning from a day’s labor, just another day on Lake Michigan, I mean the Sea of Galilee, or the Genessaret Lake, as it also known. This is by no means a large body of water like the Great Lakes, but it is a beautiful setting, nevertheless, with rolling hills and a narrow beach area. Here we see Jesus seizing the opportunity that the setting had presented Him, as Jesus entered into one of the boats and began teaching the people who were there, using the boat as His pulpit. It’s really quite amazing what followed His time of instruction, as Jesus had Peter participate in a living parable. As they came to the deep waters, Jesus told Peter to cast his net into the water, even though they had come back from their fishing excursion empty handed.
Now there was a real catch. In fact, the catch was so large it was tearing the nets. This miracle is a well known story taken from the life of Christ as He went to reclaim Peter and the others who had returned to their occupation of fishing after the initial introduction to Jesus. Jesus spoke a word through demonstration that would cause people to marvel at the authority He carried and expressed. The word that Mark uses is explessonto (amazed), which has a root word that means strike or smite powerfully, and he uses the same expression in 6:22, 7:37, 10:26, and 11:18. The actions of Jesus hit the people upside their heads like a bag of bricks. 1:15 gives us the content of the 16X referrals to Jesus as a teacher, as we see Mark’s primary interest is on the authority Jesus expressed, as it shows us the powerful responses of the people. Jesus words conveyed the impression of real alarm from those in authority, as His actions left no room for debate or theoretical reflection. This is seen in the setting, as it is in a Synagogue, which was basically the same as a church today. Synagogues originated in the Exile, and became Israel’s most enduring expression of faith. If you were there, you were challenged to change your stinking thinking, even as you were challenged to accept His claims based on the obvious results. We could say that Jesus teaching reflected or recalled the categorical demands of the Prophets, and not the meticulous notes of the Scribes.
Capernaum was the home of Peter, and the Synagogue was probably the one Peter and his friends grew up in and were a part of up this point in their lives. Jesus used the “Freedom of the Synagogue Act” to preach, which Paul would later use himself (Acts 13:15), which was a Jewish custom that allowed recognized teachers, visiting preachers to minister and preach based upon the invitation of the presiding minister. Jesus didn’t follow custom by quoting Rabbis. His authority superseded theirs and the Scribes (grammatis) who were the teachers of the Law, and who became regular agents of conflict toward Jesus.
This picturesque story is the introduction to the events in the Capernaum Synagogue, as Jesus introduces Peter to His real calling, fishing for men. I am not going to go over all the finer nuances of the story that I shared a couple of weeks ago, other than to say that here we see what Jesus taught. It was the same message the Angels and Jesus would proclaim years later at the empty Tomb, don’t be afraid. Gather in the catch of men. The Synagogue experience gives us our first taste of what this means.
1:21-24 Mark shows us a pericope (look inside) of the acts of a day in the life of Jesus, and to the four men who were now dedicated to Jesus (21-22). Jesus is clearly showcasing to all who were observing Him that the actions of God were being initiated by Him, as power and glory was being seen as a result of the proclamation of the Kingdom. This lesson plan of our Master is comprised of three basic elements, teaching, deliverance, and healing. Jesus was clearly restoring men to wholeness, and He was doing it in a manner that produced both excitement and alarm, depending on who was watching Jesus. YHWH was moving in response to the preaching of Jesus and healing was happening in Capernaum.
Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught Mark lays great emphasis on Jesus act of teaching. In this Gospel, the verb to teach is used 16X, which is funny, as the Gospel actually records very little of what Jesus actually taught, and in this passage there is no teaching content. This has led some to speculate that when Jesus taught, nothing stayed the same. What we do know is this, God was on the move and the forces of hell were placed on notice. Mark amalgamates a brief account of Jesus the expulsion of the demon with a witness to Jesus teaching and His unprecedented authority, And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes… Then they 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 (1:22, 27). The exousia was being demonstrated, but none of this would have happened without the event at the Lake. Now let’s address the broken things in this passage’s back drop as we look at: NETS, MEN, and PARTNERSHIPS.
Their Net was Breaking Let’s look at the details and the synopsis of the story. The fishing time had finished and the nets were being cleaned. These men had worked all night and had nothing to show for their labor. Once again the disciples show us that they are just like us, as they demonstrate for us how God can use extreme disappointment as His opportunity to press into us. Up to this point, faith wasn’t a factor, nor was the possibility of failure, until Jesus breathed the words, let down your nets for a catch. The ensuing miracle shows us what the raw ingredients that were required for this miracle to occur. There had to be action based on faith even though the goal seemed contradictory to reality; there had to be labor even though fatigue called for rest. And there was a clear demonstration of god’s heart for His people, as this shows us that God truly cares for our physical needs. It also shows us that God’s power to bless is greater than our capacity to contain His blessings.
Depart from me from me, for I am a sinful man, O LORD Peter understood the significance of what was happening, and it freaked him out! There was no denying that a mighty miracle had occurred. Peter’s confession led to the banishment of fear. Later his denials will lead him to repentance and release into his real calling after denial.
Partners with Simon I wonder what was going through the minds of Simon’s partners at the moment. Could it have been visions of grandeur like, SIMON PETER & ASSOCIATES…World’s Largest Fishery on the sign? Or the company slogan for recruiting purposes when interviewing potential workers, fish for less? Or could they be thinking fewer hours fishing means smaller payroll? No wait… I know, let’s corner the market with Jesus!
Jesus changes all of this with one statement, from now you will fish for men. It became perch for people, sole for souls, salmon for salvation. People’s souls receiving salvation is the most important thing to Jesus. And this also shows us the tremendous authority that Jesus walked in as He demonstrated His power over nature. Next, Jesus demonstrates His authority in another venue, as His disciples follow Him into a Synagogue and they encounter a highly demonized man in the worship service.
Authority of the Word Matthew 8:16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick.
Luke 4:32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Jesus Word was His power. Kingdom carries the meaning of Divine Kingly Authority. Authority has been given to Christ: and His authority is expressed through US. How long will the Authority of Christ need to be seen? Until ALL hostilities against God ceases, that’s when, Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.