In 20 short verses Mark lays the foundation for the story he intends to focus on for the rest of his gospel.
Mark connects the prophetic word of Isaiah to the entrance of John the Baptist as forerunner of Jesus. John commends Jesus as the One (notice the capital “O”); as God’s anointed. We move from wilderness to Nazareth where God, Himself, announces and confirms Jesus is His Son. The Spirit enters the written story, impelling Jesus back to the wilderness where battle is done between the Son and Satan. In Galilee Jesus declares: “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” In the first 20 verses we find ourselves located in the Judean wilderness, Nazareth and Galilee—all places establishing the identity of Jesus.
Now we move on to our Scripture for this writing. Mark 1:21 locates Jesus and His disciples in Capernaum in the synagogue where what has been proclamation becomes demonstration. It was in this synagogue—the place where Torah is taught—that a man possessed of an unclean spirit is met by Jesus. The spirit recognizes Jesus. Does that surprise you!? It spoke to Jesus: “I know Who You are, the Holy One of God.” (24) In the holy place it was not God’s people who recognized His Son, but the demon!! And this demon espouses the same thing that John the Baptist did in the wilderness…Jesus is the Holy One of God.
Immediately Jesus casts out this menacing, if not destructive, demon from the man and from the holy place. Spiritual warfare continues! Jesus faced the demons in the desert and now again in the gathering place of His people.
Don’t be surprised that you must move from proclamation (stating the theologically sound facts about Jesus), to demonstration (walking in the power of His Spirit)! That which is unclean and unholy must be banished: even, and perhaps especially, in the house of God! Whether literal or figurative, our demons must be destroyed in the power of the Spirit! It is at that point that what we believe informs and transforms how we walk consistenty with the Holy One of God, His Son!