Reading the Word
Mark 1:21–28 (ESV)
21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 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.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
Parallel Text: Luke 4:31-37
Understanding and Applying the Word
The people were amazed at Jesus’ teaching. They commented on the “authority” behind his teaching. Teachers usually quoted rabbis who were known and well-regarded to give credence to what they were saying, but Jesus did no such thing. He taught under his own authority and the people were amazed! Who does Jesus think he is?
Well, to show his authority, Jesus healed a man suffering from demonic possession. The demon recognized Jesus and referred to him as “the Holy One of God.” The demon also showed that he was under Jesus’ authority because when Jesus told him to “come out of him”, that is exactly what the unclean spirit did. Once again, the people remarked about Jesus’ authority. Even the unclean spirits obey him!
Who was Jesus? This is an important question that every person must answer. Was he simply a good teacher? The people recognized that Jesus was unlike other teachers. He claimed his own superior authority over all other teachers. They also saw how Jesus had power over even the cosmic forces of evil by just speaking. He made commands and the demons listened! No, Jesus was not just a teacher. He was more than that. Jesus is the Holy One of God who came into the world with all authority. God has spoken. Let us not think otherwise and let us recognize his authority by obeying all he has said.
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