The King's Authority
Gospel of Mark: Kingdom Invasion
Week#4: The King’s Authority
n last week’s passage, we saw that people were amazed by Jesus’ authority in his teaching, casting out evil spirits, and healing. As you read this week’s passage, be on the look out for other ways that Jesus’ authority is revealed.
READ Mark 2:1 – 3:6
I. The King’s Authority to Forgive Sins
A. Healing the Paralytic: Mark 2:1-12
· Why do the four friends go to such great lengths to bring the paralytic to Jesus? What do they perceive to be his greatest need?
· How does Jesus’ response address the total man’s needs?
· Why were the teachers of the law so upset about Jesus’ claim to have authority to forgive sins?
B. The Calling of Levi: Mark 2:13-17
· In this story, why were the religious leaders put off by Jesus’ behavior?
· Contrast their attitude toward the tax collectors and “sinners” with that of Jesus’.
· How does 2:17 relate to Jesus’ claim to have authority on earth to forgive sins?
§ Is anyone righteous enough that they don’t need God’s forgiveness? Explain your answer.
II. The King’s Authority to Redefine Things
A. Lord of the Fast: Mark 2:18-22
Observing a fast is one of those spiritual disciplines that Christians have practiced through the ages and found helpful as a part of their spiritual formation.
· According to Jesus, why do his disciples not fast?
· If fasting is typically going without food, what will the disciples go without one day?
§ What do you think is the connection between fasting and Jesus’ physical absence?
· In 2:19-22, what sort of claims is Jesus making about himself?
B. Lord of the Sabbath: Mark 2:23 – 3:6
Observing a day of rest and worship is another spiritual discipline that Christians have practiced as a helpful part of their spiritual formation.
· Contrast Jesus’ view of the Sabbath with that of the Pharisees.
· In this passage, Jesus seems to be challenging the question of how and why we observe the Sabbath. Do you think Jesus’ words and actions have any implications for us today? If so, what are they?
In Mark 2:1-17, we observed that Jesus loved sinners and claimed authority to forgive sins.
- How might this truth apply to you?
- How might this truth apply to how you relate to others?
In Mark 2:18 – 3:6, we observed that Jesus had the authority to redefine common practices, such as how and why we observe a fast and a Sabbath.
- Is there anything you might need to give up for a period of time to remind you of your longing and need for Jesus? Is anything hindering you from more fully experiencing the presence of Jesus in your life?
- Is there a way you can observe a day of rest and worship that would bring about good for you or others?
- Jesus challenged certain assumptions about fasting and Sabbath observance. Can you think of any long-held assumptions you hold that Jesus needs to challenge and redefine?
The following questions will be posted on-line for comments:
- What stood out to you about Jesus’ dealings with the paralytic (2:1-12)?
- What stood out to you about Jesus’ dealings with those whom the religious community looked down on as sinners (2:13 -17)?
- What stood out to you about the way Jesus is claiming to bring about new things (2:18 – 22)?
- What stood out to you about the way Jesus challenges the common observance of the Sabbath (2:23 – 3:6)?
- What personal application did you get from this lesson?
- Do you have any other comments about this week’s passage and lesson?