Demonstrating Authority

October 30, 2016 Series: The Drama of the Gospel: What It is and How It Changes Everything

Passage: Mark 1:21–1:34

How do you respond to authority? Our popular culture has its own opinions on the nature of authority. John Mellencamp in one of his songs sings, “I fight authority and authority always wins.” Or (so you don’t think I am just picking on rock music) Frank Sinatra famously sang, “My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain. I’ve lived a life that’s full, I’ve traveled each and every highway. But more, much more than this, I did it my way.” So what is your attitude towards authority? Mark is presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Jesus comes proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. In other words, with Jesus the kingdom of God has arrived. And now He is demonstrating the authority of the kingdom through His ministry of teaching, healing over both the spiritual and physical world. In this passage Mark shows us three things about the authority of Jesus. First, the uniqueness of Jesus’ authority. The people were amazed because Jesus taught not as their scribes or teachers. Second, Jesus’ authority was comprehensive. We see here Jesus’ authority over the spiritual world in his exorcism of the demon possessed man and then his tender healing of Simon’s mother-in-law from her fever. Jesus exercises kingly authority over every realm of life. The final point is the challenge how do we respond? Is Jesus the Master and Lord and King over every area of our lives? We need to connect this demonstration of Jesus’ authority with the previous passage in which Jesus called His disciples to follow Him.

Jesus is King over every realm of life and Jesus cares about every form of human affliction. We see in this passage His authority over the spiritual world but also His concern over the physical world in the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law. We can follow Jesus because He is utterly trustworthy and good. We can follow Jesus because He went all the way to the cross for us. He humbled Himself and died in order to rescue us from the spiritual realm of darkness and bring us into His own kingdom of life and love and light.

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