Last week in the introduction to Mark we recognized the emphasis on the gospel was upon God’s work through His promises, His Son and Spirit. Jesus’ birth and ministry launched a “kairos” moment for people to repent and believe, and the fulfillment of God’s movement through history (1:15). The identity of Jesus is the turning point for how a person views God and all of life. It is significant to understand that in Mark’s gospel, Jesus’ words and deeds emphasize His power and authority, therefore indicating His divinity. When Jesus teaches, performs a miracle or communicates with others it is to show His authority as God.
Jesus is rooted in authority (1:27)
The majority of Jesus’ miracles and teachings were in Capernaum. It was Jesus’ custom to attend synagogue and He began to teach. His teaching did not quote or reference other rabbis or scholars but came from His own authority. This astonished the people. Even more, Jesus exorcised a man under demon possession. His words and deeds became known to most everyone as a man of unknown power and authority. He was like no other.
Jesus said, “For the works that the Father has give me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me…I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me” (John 5:36, 43).
Illustration: When cars drive along a street and they see someone directing traffic to stop it is based on if the person has any authority. If the person is wearing street clothes the traffic is likely to move around the individual and go on with normal traffic flow. However, if the individual has an authoritative uniform or is wearing a white glove – these become signs pointing to that person’s authority. These external indicators become a basis for obedience.
An overview of Mark’s Gospel shows Jesus’ supreme authority:
1. Jesus has authoritative teaching (1:21-22)
“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority”
2. Jesus has authority over evil spirit possession (1:23-28, 32-34)
“Be silent and come out of him!” (He appeals not to exterior God but own speaking)
3. Jesus has authority over sickness (1:29-31, 40-42)
“he came… and the fever left her [Peter’s mother in-law]” “immediately the leprosy left him”
4. Jesus has authority to forgive sins (2:1-12)
“Son, your sins are forgiven”
5. Jesus has authority over nature (4:35-41)
After sleeping… “Peace. Be still!”
6. Jesus has authority over death (5:35-43)
“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
7. Jesus has authority over religion (11:15-19, 27-33)
Drove out of temple false worship – “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”
Some people balk at authority. They are their own boss and no one tells them what to do or how to live. They are their own authority and often demand others to follow their expectations. Humility is a far-reaching character trait for these people and pride is their downfall. God calls us to recognize and resign to his authority.
The scriptures say:
Philippians 2:9-10 “God has highly exalted him Jesus and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Colossians 1:15-20 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Jesus roots disciples in authority to bring healing to others (1:32-34; 3:13-15; Matthew 28:18-20)
Based on Jesus’ divine authority he used it not to lord it over people but to help them. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). He came to preach “good news of God – the kingdom of God is at hand” (1:15). This good news meant that hope was being restored, God revealed himself and spoke through His Son and has become available to all. He heals the sick, cleanses the evil, and cares for every soul. Mark says, the whole city gathered around Jesus.
In another Gospel, Jesus begins His ministry like this saying:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Jesus’ authority is extended to His disciples to do the very same ministry He accomplishes. He calls the disciples “to be with him and to send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons” (3:14-15). In another Gospel it is phrased like this, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
In other words, disciples of Jesus follow Jesus’ authority by going in His name to speak good news and provide hope and healing where needed.
– We have a missions team going to Appalachia region in WV. Pray for these 7 team members delivering over $600 and school supplies to an underprivileged community and church.
– We live in an affluent area of SP….BUT – – – > people are under tension, trouble and transition! We need help in ministering to these types of people:
- Still get calls for benevolence help
- Still have unemployed
- Still have schools in need of mentors and encouragement
- Still have families living in brokenness (marriage & parenting)
– We live less than 30 miles from Baltimore, a city in desperate and dire need of gospel – good news.
- Partnership with Bill Simpson with Open Door Community Ministries