Mark 1:21-22 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. (22) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
Oftentimes we hear comments made about the nature of Jesus’s teaching, Much has been said about his use of Parables and illustrations. I have heard many comments about the innovative and unconventional nature of many of his messages and truths. Loving your enemies for instance (Matt 5:44). Today we are going to focus on the characteristic that is mentioned in this passage. Here, the Bible tells us that there was something VERY distinctive....one might even say troubling about his teachings. So much so that it caused those present to be Astonished! The audience was amazed, taken back, almost to say in disbelief. What was it that caused so much uproar when he spoke? He taught as one that Had AUTHORITY! What does it mean to “Speak with Authority” Generally, It implies one of several characteristics, But When Jesus spoke with authority, I believe all of these Characteristics were present
1. A Boldness (not cowering or timidity)
2. Being an Expert (Unprecedented knowledge and Wisdom)
3. Dependable (if he says it - you can COUNT on it)
4. Having the Ability or Enforce What is Spoken
So...what does that mean...what’s the point to mention that he spoke with Authority? When I read this phrase, It reminds me of an old TV Commercial for E.F. Hutton, the stock brokerage company. The tag line for everyone of their commercials is: “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen”, and because Jesus spoke with such authority, We OUGHT listen to him! Not just casually hear...But REALLY Listen!
Some may be thinking....”all of this is ridiculously obvious”... Of course we would listen to Jesus. But do we really? There is much of the religious world that likes the PRINCIPLES of what Jesus says, But they turn right around and dismiss his commandments as irrelevant or out of date. I think I can prove, that the words of Jesus are profound and ought to be followed meticulously.
1. He Spoke With Authority The World into Existence (Genesis 1:1-3)
Clearly, by inspiration the Bible, undeniably states that NOTHING was made without Jesus, So clearly we can attribute the speaking of the world into existence to Jesus as well. Just think of what is being said here as it pertains to our point. With the power of a spoken word, God, Jesus SPOKE this world into existence in 6 individual days. What Authority!.....What power! So let me ask. If he has such power in his spoken word, To bring everything we see into existence...Do we really think that he is not deadly serious about the commands and wishes that he informs us of in the Bible?
2. He Spoke With Authority...Sins Forgiven (Mark 2:3-12)
This aspect of his spoken word was probably the most troubling to the Jews. In fact, they accused him of blasphemy for saying this man’s sins were forgiven. Certainly today, if one made the claim that they could forgive sin, we too would think that it was blasphemous. But Jesus didn’t halfheartedly or on a whim speak this man’s sins forgiven. He didn’t spout off just to shock the crowd. He didn’t say things just to see his name in the press, like a lot of politicians do. He spoke with AUTHORITY! Jesus knows that they are talking about him behind his back. So he addresses their skepticism. And to prove he wasn’t just make empty claims. And he proved his authority on the matter, by too, being able to heal this man of an incurable crippling infirmity. If Jesus speaks with such authority to forgive sins, why would we think that he didn’t truly mean what he says about what God wants?
3. He Spoke With Authority...Evil Spirits Expelled (Luke 4:33-36)
Notice the manner in which this unclean spirit cowers to the shear power of Jesus. And with the simple strength of the Authority of his words of Jesus. The demon obeys the word of Jesus! I think this is one time that we can learn a valuable and positive lesson from Satan and his followers. They know not to rebel against the commands of Jesus. And I think that is a lesson we all ought to follow. When Jesus, speaks, instead of justifying why it shouldn’t apply to us, instead of trying to reason a so-called better way than his. We ought to do just as this evil spirit did, And follow the authority of Jesus.
4. He Spoke With Authority...Storms Stilled (Mark 4:36-41)
Don’t dismiss the seriousness of this storm because the disciples were just inexperienced and easily frightened. Instead we know that at least 3 of these guys were experience fisherman which would be very accustomed to being on the sea in bad weather. And they were literally afraid for their lives. They even asked Jesus” “Do you not care that we perish”. They thought the storm would kill them. But Jesus SPOKE with AUTHORITY and the storm ceased and the ocean stilled. Notice too the ease with which he was able to control the storm. He didn’t have to give it a long speech. He didn’t have to yell over and over for it to pay attention. He didn’t have to plead with the storm to go away. He simply said “Peace be Still”. Who would not agree with the power and authority when Jesus speaks? So why do so many question him? Why do so many dismiss his words as unimportant or irrelevant?
5. He Spoke With Authority...Diseases Healed (Luke 7:1-10)
Whereas we saw an earlier example where the friends of a sick man brought the sick person to Jesus, here we have a unique situation. The Centurion was unable to bring the sick friend to him, And thought he was unworthy to have Jesus come to his house. With out being present...without Jesus laying his hands on the sick person, Or doing any other miraculous act. He requested that Jesus heal his friend with the command of his voice. This man truly understood that Jesus spoke with Authority. He realized that Jesus had the authority to speak but a word and his friend could be completely disease free. And with the same power, with the same authority, Jesus speaks to us the will of God! Will we heed to the authority of the word of Jesus?
I believe there will be many on the Day of Judgment that will be equally astonished. They will be in disbelief that the things Jesus said, He actually meant! Will you not listen to Jesus this day?
Reflecting His SON,
Minister, North Hardin Church of Christ
1804 Sam Stewart Dr.
Radcliff, KY 40160
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