Download PDF

Way to Worship!

Key References: Mark 1:21-28; The Desire of Ages, chap. 26, pp. 252-261; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 7, pp. 157-159; Our Beliefs nos. 20, 12, 22

power text

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).

power point

When we take an active part in worship, we are responding to God’s love.

Do you have a favorite preacher or teacher? Why do you think you enjoy that person so much? Have you told the person how you feel? Imagine Jesus as your pastor.

Ayoung man squirmed in his seat beside his father. “I’m glad we came early,” he said. “I can’t believe how many people are here at the synagogue today.”

“Everyone has come to hear Jesus,” his father answered. “After He healed the nobleman’s son, word spread quickly about His teachings.”

“Maybe He’ll heal someone today,” the young man said excitedly.

“Perhaps,” his father murmured. “But I get the feeling that Jesus doesn’t do this for the crowd’s enjoyment. There’s something different about Him.”

Craning his neck, the boy could see the man who interested him so much. Jesus didn’t look any different from those clustered around Him. He went to synagogue each Sabbath just as they did. He took part in the service with the others.

“Why does Jesus spend so much time here in Capernaum?” the boy wondered out loud.

“Capernaum has so many people passing through it,” his father observed. “I think Jesus wants to reach as many people as possible with His message. This is a good place to do that.”

Growing quiet, the crowd recognized that Jesus was ready to speak. No one wanted to miss a word He would say. He seemed to talk directly to each one. And He used illustrations from everyday life that they could understand. He used those illustrations to tell them important things about the love of God. Jesus spoke with authority, using simple language, to help people receive and believe the truth. The boy was amazed that even he understood Jesus’ teaching.

Looking around him, he saw people listening carefully. Some were smiling. Others nodded their heads in agreement. But some were frowning.

“Father,” the young man whispered, “who are those men who are frowning?”

“They’re from the Sanhedrin,” his father answered. “Some say that they are following Jesus from town to town, gathering information on what He does.”

Jesus began to speak about His kingdom. Hope filled the hearts of the people as they recognized that Jesus was able to set them free from the forces of darkness that had kept them in captivity to sin.

Suddenly a scream echoed through the building. Everyone froze in their seats.

A man came running from the back of the synagogue. Holding his hands out as if trying to reach for Jesus, he headed directly to Him. But as he got close, it seemed as if something or someone was holding him back. The man appeared to be fighting an invisible force, a demon.

“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” screamed an unearthly voice. “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24).

The young man looked at Jesus. He was holding His hands out to the man. There seemed to be sorrow and anger on His face at the same time.

“Be quiet!” Jesus commanded. “Come out of him!” (verse 25). After one last struggle the demon obeyed. The crowd began to murmur. “Did you see that?” “Amazing!” “What manner of man is this?” Holding up His hand for silence, Jesus continued to teach. This time everyone listened to His words.

After the service the boy and his father left the synagogue, knowing that surely they had felt the presence of God in this place of worship. They were thankful for the opportunity they had to be witnesses of God’s goodness and power conquering evil.