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The 60: Conflict Unexpected (Mark 1:21-39) | Life Unexpected


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. – Genesis 3:15

As early as Genesis 3, we find that life is essentially happening in the context of a spiritual conflict

The CONFLICT is between God and Satan, good and evil, the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, angels and demons

CONFLICT is at the center of what it means to be a Christian

For many if not most of us in the church, we get this…….Sometimes what we get wrong is the immediate CONTEXT of the CONFLICT

We assume the context for the conflict is first with The World

We assume the context for the conflict is first with Our Culture

We assume the context for the conflict is first with Other Religions

The reality is the context for the conflict is much closer than that…….in contexts we wouldn’t naturally expect

Conflict Unexpected In The Church (1:21-28)

After the conflict between Jesus and Satan in the wilderness, the first place we see this conflict play out between good and evil, between God and Satan, between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light, is within the church of Jesus’ day (synagogue)

The demon possessed man was IN THE SYNAGOUGE.

What does this tell us? - There can be conflict with demonic activity right within the walls of the church…….closer than you’d expect. We don’t need to go outside the church to be engaged in a spiritual conflict.

How does the conflict start?

The Word of God Rightly Preached

  • Affectionately
  • Accurately
  • Annointedly
  • Authoritatively

The Word of God will always pick a fight with the lies of the enemy.

What is this conflict ultimately about?

Two Kingdoms

The language here is language or mutual exclusivity

When we hear the Word of God rightly preached, but don’t respond with repentance and trust, it’s demonic, not just discouraging

How does the conflict end?

  • His Word brings demonic strongholds to the SURFACE
  • His Word brings demonic strongholds to SILENCE
  • The preaching of the Word Reveals the Conflict
  • The preaching of the Word Resolves the Conflict

Conflict Unexpected In The Home (1:29-34)

Peter’s home is the least likely place we’d expect to see any kind of spiritual conflict going on

Maybe you feel like your home is the least likely place you’d expect to see any kind of spiritual conflict going on

Mark transitions from this extraordinary exorcism to a ordinary healing to show us that demonic influence and activity can be at work in the midst of the everyday, ordinary things of life

Luke confirms for us what Mark doesn’t, that this fever was ‘demonically charged’ or ‘demonically influenced.’ (Luke 4:39)

This is NOT to say that all or even most sickness is demonically influenced or associated with demons, but this fever most likely was.

This IS to say that everyday, ordinary things of life can have demonic influence attached to them.

What do you do about it?

  • Read Scripture with your family
  • Pray Scripture over yourself, your family, and the circumstances you’re in
  • Play worship music continually in your home
  • “House Cleaning” Prayer

Conflict Unexpected In The Ministry (1:35-39)

Jesus knows more conflict is coming from his disciples, and from the masses, so Jesus has to steel away to prepare himself in an extended time alone with the Father in prayer, silence and solitude

The disciples and the masses want Him to continue healing. Although healing was a good thing, PREACHING was the best thing according to Jesus

Sometimes in ministry we have to make hard decisions to stay on mission with what Jesus has called us to do

Anything or Anyone that keeps us from keeping the main thing the main thing is not just a distraction…….but demonic

Peter & Jesus

But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” – Mark 8:33

Many times people, even good people, aren’t mindful of the things of God, but their own things.

How do you know you’re mindful of the things of God?

  • Internal Call (Scripture, Prayer, Circumstances)
  • External Confirmation (Spiritual Authority, Elders)

How do you deal with people who are not mindful of the things of God?

  • Tell them about your internal call
  • Tell them about your external confirmation
  • Tell them to take a hike (Godly rudeness)

Diving In

Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren’t intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks’ message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  • How have you seen yourself pursue comfort in your Christian life at the expense of plummeting into the conflict of God? Has pursuing comfort caused you to become uncontious about your role in the conflict of God?
  • How do you see yourself responding most often to the Word of God rightly preached?
  • Is there any way you sense you have ‘opened’ the ‘windows’ and ‘doors’ of your home to the influence of the enemy? Do you see hints of what might be considering ‘ordinary demonic’ in your home?
  • Has God called you into any specific area or emphasis of ministry within the church? If so, how do you know God has indeed called you to that? How have you seen even good, well-intentioned people or friends potentially distracting you from the ministry God has called you to?
  • How have you tended to respond to that? Would you say you are focused on the things God has called you to today?

Deep End

The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  • Next, spend some time reading over Mark 1:24. Consider for a few moments the opposition this man is communicating to Jesus.
  • After this, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if there is any way you are saying the same things to Jesus, albeit in a more subtle manner. Is there any way you are keeping Jesus at arms length? Is there any way you are resisting what Jesus is speaking to you about?
  • Next, confess to Jesus that you have been resisting His words to you about that thing in particular. Confess to Him that you have been building your own kingdom in this regard. Ask Him for His forgiveness and empowering to be fully submitted to Him.
  • End your time by submitting yourself to Jesus and to His Kingdom at work in your life.


Our digest section is all about helping you to memorize and meditate on God’s Word so you’ll be able to better digest it. Take some time to commit these short verses to memory this week:

And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes - Mark 1:21-22

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