Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jesus: the One with authority to make things happen

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 1:21-28

TO CHEW ON: "... for He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes .... 'What is this? What new doctrine is this?For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him.'" Mark 1:22,27

We know that in order to get action on an issue—from better service in a store to a change in the laws of the land—we need to appeal to the people who have the authority to make or implement the changes we desire [authority = the right to command and to enforce obedience; the delegated right or power, authorization; the official or group having administrative control in a specific area"].

In our reading today, Mark uses the word authority twice in telling about how the people of Jesus' time described His ministry.

  • He taught with authority - Mark 1:2.
  • He commanded evil spirits with authority - Mark 1:27.

[The Greek word for authority used here is exousia.  It means: 1) power of choice, liberty; 2) physical and mental power; 3) the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); and 4) the power of rule or government—the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed.]

As we look at more of the stories of Jesus' time on earth, we see His authority in evidence all over the place.

  • He took authority over crowds - Mark 14:9.
  • He took authority over activities in the temple - Matthew 21:12.
  • He took authority over nature by stilling storms (Mark 4:37-39), multiplying food (Matthew 14:19-21), healing people from sickness (Mark 2:8-12), even raising them from the dead (Luke 7:11-15).
  • He was aware of and declared His authority (Matthew 28:18), as did God the Father (Mark 9:7).
  • The exciting part in all this is that we are implicated in Jesus' authority. On the basis of His authority, He sends us out to fulfill His great and final assignment (Matthew 28:18-20).

Two questions come to mind:

1. Do you and I recognize His authority over all the areas in which He demonstrated and declared that He had/has it? Do we really believe He has authority over nature, sickness, death? Do we claim His authority over sin and dark spiritual forces?

2. Do we let His authority operate in and through us? Do we speak, pray, and minister with authority?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, You have all authority in heaven and earth. Help me to live every day under Your authority and as an agent of Your authority. Amen.

More: Gaither Vocal Band - On the Authority

(Written with help from the archives.)

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