THE HEAVENLY DIFFERENCE
Scripture Reading: Mark 1:21-28
21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
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.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
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.
Immediately, the heavenly difference with all Its power and glory is captured in Mark 1:22 which reads, "And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." That which is heavenly astonishes because it throws the carnal mind. Spiritual things cannot be discerned by the carnal mind. The source of their astonishment was Jesus’ authority with which he taught. This authority is the power of the Spirit of God. Jesus was the Word made Flesh. As He executed Himself as the Word of God, all Power in heaven and earth was given to Him. The Will and Ability of the Existing One was executed through Him.
The scribes on the other hand were learned in Mosaic Law or the "letter." This wonderful, heavenly difference is further defined in 2 Corinthians 3:6 which declares the ability of the New Covenant ministry is "not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." This holy difference must be discerned by anyone expecting to see the extensive power of God’s grace to His people. The scribes were either content to allow one possessed with an unclean spirit in their midst or were unaware of his presence. Their "letter" or Word ministered without Its Spirit afforded the demon unhindered freedom to possess the man.
Through their amazement the people exclaimed, What thing is this? That was the same cry in the wilderness when manna fell from heaven. "Manna" means what is it? Now the true Bread of God, Jesus Christ was ministering in the midst and evil had to cry out and come out of its comfort zone. This was an open show of a spoiled principality and an example of the complete work of destruction of the devil’s works through the Cross. The unclean spirit recognized and declared that Jesus of Nazareth was the Holy One of God.