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Sermon for Mark 1:21-28   -   Astonishing!
Epiphany 4
           

For centuries people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was regarded as the greatest thinker of all time, and surely he would not be wrong. Anyone, of course, could have taken two objects, one heavy and one light, and dropped them from a great height to see whether or not the heavier object landed first. But no one did until nearly 2,000 years after Aristotle's death. Legend has it that in 1589 Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then he went to the top and pushed off a ten-pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same instant. The power of belief was so strong, however, that the professors denied their eyesight. They continued to say Aristotle was right.

I believe that this illustrates perfectly what is going on in the world today. You could show the terrible ravaging effects of AIDS and people will have promiscuous sex anyway. You can show someone a diseased liver and cancerous lungs and people are going to abuse alcohol and smoke regardless of the facts.

You know what I wish? I wish someone would just climb to the top of the tower and push off a ten-pound argument and a one-pound argument and we will see which one reaches the ground first. That would finally prove who is right and who is wrong. But then I am reminded that when Galileo did that no one believed him. Even with the authority of obvious visible proof, i.e. the two weights reached the ground at the same time, the professors did not believe. The problem here is obvious. Most people are going to believe what they have always believed regardless of the facts.

But something different occurred in the life of Jesus. Something persuasive. Mark records that when Jesus came to Capernaum , on the Sabbath day, and entered the synagogue and taught, the crowds were astounded. Why? One word: Authority. He taught, not as the scribes taught, but as one having authority.

What was it that convinced them? What did they hear and see in the life of Christ that made him stand above all other teachers. Why were they so drawn to him?

 

1.  His teaching was new.

2.  He taught with authority.

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