The Authority of Jesus
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Thank you all for being here today. I am glad you are all here today. If you are just joining us or have missed a couple of weeks we are exploring the book of Mark. So far Mark has been setting the stage for Jesus’ ministry.
We have learned about the ministry of John the Baptist as he prepared the way for Jesus.
Then we looked at the baptism of Jesus and how it was a coronation of the King to announce Jesus. We saw this wonderful scene where Jesus came up out of the water He saw the heavens torn open and the Spirit descended on him and God spoke “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”
After that, Jesus was then taken into the wilderness and tempted for 40 days by Satan. Then Jesus went to the region of Galilee. Where he proclaimed his message of
15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
While he was in the region of Galilee, He called his first disciples Simon, Andrew, James and John.
This is where we pick up today.
Open your bibles to Mark Chapter 1 verse 21. We will be covering verses 21-28 this morning.
WORDS OF AUTHORITY
WORDS OF AUTHORITY
21 They went into Capernaum, and right away he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. 22 They were astonished at his teaching because he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not like the scribes.
Capernaum was a village of about 1500 people on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was home of Jesus and the center of his ministry. Many of the accounts in the gospels are accounted to be in Capernaum. Matthew tells us this as well,
12 When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.
When Jesus got to town he went to the Synagogue on the Sabbath. Synagogues were common in many towns of Jesus’ time. They are believed to serve many purposes but it was the place where Jews would publically read the scriptures, explain what they mean and how to apply the scripture to their lives. The written copies of the scriptures would be brought to this place on the Sabbath. Jesus would routinely teach at the synagogues.
16 He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As usual, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read.
38 And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39 He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
This is the first time he taught in Capernaum. Jesus came in and read scripture and explained it to them. This would not have been uncommon. Visiting Jews would have opportunities to read and teach. What is unique about this time was the reaction of those that were listening.
“They were astonished” translated as “to be utterly amazed” by his teaching content.
There reaction would not have been based on his charisma or his great teaching voice, it was not his creative use of alliteration, or of theatrics, it was not his fancy slides or his fancy suit or the size of his church or how it made them feel about themselves.
They were astonished because he taught as one who had authority. He taught with a ruling authority. Not like the scribes.
The scribes were expert interpreters of the writings. They were men who were experts in writing, coping and teaching the writings of the Jewish people. They were respected and looked to as leaders in the Jewish community.
So what was different? What made his teaching so amazing compared to the religious experts of the day?
Scribes could only quote or reference rabbis or other scholars for their teaching. Jesus didn’t quote people He spoke directly and quoted bible.
27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. 28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
He spoke with a first hand knowledge of them. He would stand up and make very definitive statements about what scripture ment.
Jesus spoke with such confidence and boldness to the crowd because he is the Word of God. No person can ever teach the Scriptures the way Jesus did. There would have been no error, no hesitation, no mixed meanings it would have left the room speech less for a moment.
After he spoke with authority that astonished the them he then proved the power of His Authority.
DEMONSTRATION OF AUTHORITY
DEMONSTRATION OF AUTHORITY
23 Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out, 24 “What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 Jesus rebuked him saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit threw him into convulsions, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him.
After His teaching a man with a unclean spirit cries out. This would be like someone standing up and screaming at me in the middle of the sermon.
What is this unclean spirit? There is a lot of speculation and questions around them. But there are some things we do know. The scripture says they exist and are also called Demons in the bible. The word “with” tells us that this person was under the power of this spirit.
This spirit starts screaming at Jesus. The spirit knows who Jesus is. It knows where Jesus is from. It recognizes that Jesus has the power right there to destroy it. The spirit communicates a certainty that if Jesus decided to destroy it right there He could. There was no suggestion of fighting back or winning. The spirit even defined Jesus publicly as the Holy One of God. Not “a” holy one but the Holy one.
Jesus doesn’t even respond to the spirit other than to rebuke it to be silent and to remove the spirit from the man with just his words.
Jesus proved his ruling authority of His kingdom by driving out this spirit.
It can be easy to be side tracked by the things that are hard to understand. Like spirits and demons. Because we have a hard time wrapping our minds around them we can put more emphasis on understanding the demon than focusing on Jesus. Our Lord and savior, the one we say we serve is so powerful that even the spiritual realm is powerless to fight the command of his word. This includes the power of Satan. Jesus willing submitted to the temptations earlier in Mark. He could have defeated Satan at any moment if it was His will.
This purpose of events like these were to give evidence and to confirm what Jesus was teaching was truth. They pointed people to God and to reveal who Jesus was. These signs would continue through the ministry of Jesus and into the ministry of the disciples for the same purpose.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” 19 So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the accompanying signs.]
REACTION TO AUTHORITY
REACTION TO AUTHORITY
Let us look at their reaction.
27 They were all amazed, and so they began to ask each other: “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 At once the news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee.
Again it says they all are amazed. I can just see a room of people in complete silence and then everyone starts talking at once and asking each other. Who is this? What is this teaching? What did we just see. Even the unclean spirits obey him.
I can see people running out of the synagogue to tell their friends and family about what just happened. Because it says at once the news about him spread through then entire vicinity of Galilee. The people recognized it as a new teaching. What they had just heard and seen was new to them. They got excited and curious.
We will see as we continue through Mark that people will start coming to see for themselves what this new and powerful teacher was all about. To hear this new teaching. but was it really new?
No it was just truly true. Jesus is the Word and he taught is clearly and purely.
As we look at the Jews assembled and their reaction, we can ask ourselves some questions:
Do we treat the scriptures as old teaching? I have heard that story before…or here comes this sermon again.
Do we come to church on Sunday to hear Jesus speak to us by guidance of the Holy Spirit and the reading and teaching of the Holy Scriptures? Do we prepare to hear from Jesus?
Are we so numb to the truths of scripture that we could care less who hears about Jesus? The word synagogue ment gathering. Do we run from our gathering to share what and who Jesus is and what we have seen?
Do we realize the advantage we have over the Jews in these verses? We don’t have to wait for Sunday, for the Sabbath, to have access to the scriptures.
When was the last time you were amazed by Jesus’ teaching?
I have one last question that I will conclude with.
Do you submit to his authority?
The unclean spirit did not have a choice. Jesus said come out and it did. But we are given a choice to submit to His authority.
Maybe you are here today and you sit here hearing these words in the bible and you believe that this Jesus is real and that God is real and that you are in need of being saved and you want a relationship with the only one who can save. I ask you to submit to him today. find me after church or Chris or Tom or Chuck or any on else and they will bring you to people who can help you. Jesus is amazing. Will you take that step of faith today?
If you are already saved what does your submission to Jesus look like? Can you give up control to Jesus?
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commands.
Jesus paid for us with the ultimate sacrifice. are you motivated by how much we owe him for our salvation?
If you are going through the motions will you repent and obey him? Obey him in service, kindness, sharing the gospel, loving one another and you neighbor as yourself?
Will you restoke your fire for Jesus?
Our obedience may be optional but his judgment is not.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
We will not lose our salvation but our teacher, the one who the bible says has the authority to teach, the one who loves us in a way we cannot understand, will still hold us accountable for what we have done or not done.
Brothers and sisters. There is work to be done. There is the gospel to spread. There are people to be saved. Will you step out in obedience and willingly make disciples.
The time is now.
What is your reaction to His authority?