“Jesus Commands Us to be Clean”
Mark 1:40 -45
- Last week we started our series on the “Words of Jesus” or the “Red words of Jesus in the Bible” with our main focus on what Jesus taught.
- We came from Matthew 3, 4 with Jesus being tempted of Satan, the start of Jesus ministry and His message.
- Mark pretty much says the same thing here in chapter 1
- Mark 1:14…Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
- Mark 1:17…And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
- Mark uses a little bit different verbiage, but basically says the same thing.
- Please note that the “Basic Message” of Jesus Christ in all he teaches, and all he preaches will be that of what was said at the beginning of His ministry… “Repent, and believe the gospel.”
- Repentance is a process of a cleansing.
- You cannot clean your clothes without soap, a detergent that removes dirt.
- May I say this morning without any intention of demeaning Jesus Christ… Jesus is the cleansing agent that removes the sin (dirt) in our lives (clothes).
- This morning, we will look at a couple of accounts here in Mark (again the words of Jesus in red to be the main focus) where a cleansing had taken place.
I. A Man With An Unclean Spirit
A) In the synagogue
- Mark 1:23…And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
- “their synagogue” meaning …their church.
- To preface the account here in Mark 1:23, we might say that that a synagogue (or church) is “God’s house,” which is also (as Jesus said) a “House of prayer.”
- The church house is a place where God’s people come together to unite as one body in Christ with a “clean”
- A “clean spirit” is of God which manifests (establishes within) a spirit of love, joy and peace within the heart of the believers.
- Our bodies (such as the man in this account) are a temple of the Lord which is also supposed to possess a “clean”
- For this man (Man with an unclean spirit) to be able to enter into the synagogue (or church), he must have the evidence of a “clean.”
- Every person born has “a spirit.” We are like our creator (God) in that we are a trinity. God is a “Holy Trinity” which is made up of God the Father, God the Son (God incarnate, or the flesh), and God the Holy Spirit.
- We are of a trinity that is not holy. We have a body, soul, and spirit. The soul and spirit defines us.
- Our sole objective is to be in control of our bodies by worshiping God, and following His commandments (Which is given to His Son to be given to us).
- When we are in control of our bodies by being obedient, and worship God, it generates within us a “clean”
- When we do not control our bodies to do as God has commanded us, then it generates within us an “unclean”
- If we are not careful, this “unclean spirit” will take over our bodies and consume our soul and ruin or taint our thinking causing us to act immorally.
- Such as is the case here in Mark 1:23.
- This man was a member of the church, and came in to the church as he usually does to worship God.
B) A man with an unclean spirit
- Mark 1:23…And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
- The “unclean spirit” here has the connotation of being morally impure.
- To be morally impure is to be unclean in God’s eyes.
- This evil spirit is of the devil himself.
- How did this “unclean spirit” get into this child of God? The same way an unclean spirit can come into us.
- We all have impure or unclean thoughts that attack us daily. The important thing for us to remember is HOW we respond to that spirit.
- We need to be able to recognize an “unclean spirit” when it comes to us, and reject it, do not cave in to its desire to control us and ruin God’s spirit within us. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit within us will give us the power to reject unclean spirits if we use that power or ask for an additional power.
- Do you know that almost every day (including Sunday) someone will do or say something that upsets me or causes my blood to boil and it takes all I can do to not lash out and verbally set the record straight or punch them right I the nose. This is an unclean spirit that tries to enter my body.
- This man in Mark lacked the will power or the spiritual strength to ward off the attacks of this unclean spirit. I believe that he was weak because of everyday activity that led to an unclean spirit taking over his behavior in the synagogue (church).
- By this man giving into the first attacks of this unclean spirit, his spiritual wall had become penetrable and now immorality was the norm.
C) Recognizing the Holy One of God
- May I first start off with this… When we stay strong spiritually, unclean spirits have very little effectiveness.
- Staying strong requires continual worship to God, daily prayer, daily bible reading, daily ministering to the saints of God daily, being involved with church activity, daily communion with God (one-on-one, closet closeness.), and continuing to follow the Commandments of God in Jesus Christ.
- Jesus enters the synagogue on the Sabbath at Capernaum and starts teaching.
- Note the way Jesus was teaching by reading Mark 1:22…And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
- Notice three things here in verse 22…
- They were astonished (shocked) at His doctrine. His doctrine was directly to the point, with one directive. Doctrine of “Grace”
- He taught like an authoritarian. He taught boldly and sternly with His voice as he had the authority to do so.
- He did not teach like the scribes. The scribes did not teach with authority. They taught on the authority of other rabbis and not as they had the power to deliver the message.
- Basically saying, that the Sabbath worship consisted of just readings of the Law (5 books of Moses) and their Sabbath rituals and Sabbath traditions.
- When Jesus spoke in the Synagogue, He spoke like a Baptist preacher and held nothing back, apologizing for nothing, and giving the words of God as he is commanded to do.
- Typically when you speak harshly to people you get two responses…
- An evil unclean spirit of rejection and dismissal.
- A clean spirit of acceptance and repentance.
- Look at how an unclean spirit responds to the word of God being preached to their dislike… Mark 1:24) Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
- Let us look at the facts of being a child of God, a Christian…
- When you receive Christ as your Savior the Holy Spirit of God immediately takes up residence in your soul.
- When the Holy Spirit of God moves in, the unclean spirit moves out.
- God is light (spiritual understanding), Satan is dark (no spiritual understanding)
- These unclean spirits are alive in souls that allow them to stay. They would be homeless if people would be obedient and faithful to God.
- This is why they asked if Jesus was coming to destroy them. Note the demon that spoke used the words “we,”and “us?” …more than one.
- The demons and unclean spirits recognize God, recognize Jesus, and certainly recognize the Holy Spirit if it dwells within the heart of any person.
- Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit
- Now look at Mark 1:25… And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
- The Christ who was present at creation and spoke things into existence by a simple command of “Let there be light” commands the unclean spirit to be quiet, and leave.
- This is exactly what we are to do whenever we see an argument, a fight, and dispute, or any kind of hostility towards our brethren… be quiet, and leave.
- I think of our dear Bro. Lewis every time I see something like this. Because any time another deaf person would come face to face with one another and start arguing or getting upset…Bro. Lewis would take off.
- This is the heart of God in a person who knows that God restores relationships and not destroys relationships.
- When we allow an unclean spirit to disrupt our conversation, we are opening the door for destruction to walk right in.
- 26) And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
- Look closely at this verse and see that upon the departure of this unclean spirit, it “had torn him, and cried with a loud voice.”
- A body that is owned (possessed) of God but controlled by an unclean spirit will go into convulsions, or become angry, or throw a fit of rage which should cause the Christian to be aware… “I shouldn’t be doing that.”
- Our Bible tells us to what? “Submit yourselves therefore to God; Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
- I want us to further recognize that this all took place in church. It took place in a synagogue. It took place in the lives of every child of God present that day, and it takes place today.
II. To Have a Clean Reputation
A) A reputation of casting out unclean spirits
- Let us look at Mark 1:27…And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28) And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
- A person becomes well known when they are in control of themselves so much that it directs the attention of others to see the difference of their character.
- Jesus was like no other Pharisee, no other scribe, no other prophet that these people have ever seen before. He cast out unclean spirits with authority.
- We can do the same if we ask in Jesus Name.
- Look down a little further into Mark 1:38…And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
- Jesus said “…for therefore came I forth.” Meaning that “This is the reason I came here”
- The reason Jesus comes unto us is to cast out our demons that want to possess our souls. Again, God the Father cannot deal with anything “unclean.” This is why we need Jesus as our Savior. We cannot do it on our own.
- Jesus continues in Mark 1:39…And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
III. Unclean Spirits That are Visible
A) The Leper
- Look at our last words in red and the account there in Mark 1:40…And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
- I could go on and on about this man and his condition, but let’s keep it basic.
- Here is a man that realizes his condition and the only one who can heal him was Jesus Christ.
- Do you realize there are many lost and saved in the world today that realize their condition and do nothing but have a pity party and wait for a hand out from someone willing to do so.
- It takes someone with great compassion to work with and heal these people. There are many who have the compassion but have not the time or resources it takes to deal with it.
- I would like to think of myself as a compassionate person and many times I overbook my schedule or tasks and end up having to cancel the more pressing ones. Canceling out or backing down from a task makes for a lousy relationship with those you love because it causes bitterness.
B) Healing of unclean spirits
- Look at Mark 1:41… And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
- Note the compassion of our Savior in His actions towards a man that no one dared to touch. Jesus reached out and touched the man. Southwestern Bell telephone was not the first one to “reach out and touch someone.”
- Again we see the unclean spirits that caused this man to be diseased, leave immediately… 42) And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. 43) And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44) And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
- The reason that Jesus asked the man to show himself to the priest was because ceremonially, he was unclean, considered an outcast, and O.T. regulations did not permit him to worship with others.
- For this man to be publicly accepted for fellowship and worship in the Temple, he had to be declared clean by the priest.
- This is exactly the work of Jesus Christ in us today.
- When we sin, it makes us “unclean.”
- For us to be able to have fellowship with God we must ask for forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ, and He being our high priest declares us “clean.”
- In closing, may I say that there are other words that are like the word “clean.” They are holy, pure, and righteous.
- God commands us to be clean, to be holy, to be righteous. And to be all of that is not easy and unattainable without Christ our High Priest.
- I believe that every one of us should have the heart of David anytime that someone tries to ruin our kindred spirit in Psalm 51:10…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Let us Pray