Jesus Demonstrates Authority

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22)

Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and the scripture says that the people were surprised by his teaching. Their surprise related to his use of authority which was different from the scribes. I had to look up the role of the scribes to see what was so distinctly different in the way that they taught. They are referred to as being knowledgeable about the law and could draft legal documents. It was interesting to read that although the scribes were knowledgable about the law and scriptures, that the people viewed Jesus as demonstrating an authority which was different to theirs.

Later on in the story, there was a man with an unclean spirit who recognised Jesus and said, ““What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are— the Holy One of God.””(Mark 1:24) Jesus rebukes the spirit, commands him to be silent and to come out of the man. The unclean spirit came out of of the man at Jesus’s command. “And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”” (Mark 1:27)

Jesus first demonstrated authority through his understanding of the word and he taught the people with boldness. He commanded a knowledge and interpretation of the scriptures which was different than even the scribes who understood and practiced the law. Jesus then demonstrates authority over unclean spirits and used this authority to command them to leave the man alone.

We have the same authority which Jesus demonstrated and his promise is that we have the ability to do even greater works. (John 14:12) The same power that lived in Jesus Christ and raised him from the dead lives in us. We have this power over every evil that lives in the world. We have the authority to command sick bodies to be healed and for people to be delivered and set free.


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