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Authority in Teaching

But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”

Mark 1:25

Watch Session Three: Jesus Offers Peace

authority in teaching

On the Sabbath, Jesus taught in the local synagogue. It was common practice to invite a respected visitor to speak, but Jesus wasn’t like other teachers. His style of teaching demonstrated authority.

The scribes of the day had the tendency to quote other rabbis, but Jesus made direct assertions. His teaching suggested that he was granted his authority directly from God without study.

This astonished his listeners. The Greek word used here has the idea of something that causes one “to be filled with amazement to the point of being overwhelmed” or “to amaze, astound, overwhelm.”

They weren’t just a little surprised. They were astonished.

authority in action

Jesus’s authority, however, went beyond words. He backed up his teaching with actions. Throughout the Gospel of Mark, Jesus demonstrated authority on behalf of others. In this case, he had the opportunity to show his authority right away when a man with an unclean spirit approached: “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” (Mark 1:24).

The demon rightly realized that Jesus’s authority was the kind that triumphed over evil. His authority sought only the good of others, while the demonic world used its power to bring only chaos.

Jesus silenced evil with a rebuke: “Be silent, and come out of him!” (1:25). The unclean spirit, causing convulsions and crying out, departed from the man.

Those observing were once again amazed and a little bewildered: “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him” (1:27). Jesus became the topic of conversation throughout the whole region of Galilee. His fame came not just from his authoritative teaching but from the accompanying action. He calmed internal and external chaos instilled by the demonic world.

Sometimes it’s easy to become jaded by authority because we don’t often see it used for the good of others. Many use their power and influence to promote only themselves and even delight in taking advantage of others. It’s often most discouraging when a trusted Christian leader or mentor disappoints or betrays our trust. But Jesus shows us power doesn’t have to be corrupt. His example leads us down a better path.

Remember, Jesus didn’t wield authority for authority’s sake. Jesus teaches us that it’s not having or obtaining authority that ultimately defines us but what we do with it that matters most.


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Daily Question

In what ways can you use your influence to advocate on behalf of others?

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Comments (10)

By prayer and volunteering my time and talents. Speaking up when appropriate (which is the hardest of these for me to do).

I am pulled in the direction of being an advocate for my patients. Being there for the family as their loved one is in pain, cannot breathe or taking their last breath. This is where God has placed me and wants me to be

As Christians, we should be able to help others, and/or be there when others may need help. We should be a choice of support, to those who may need us.

I am a huge advocator for homeschooling. Being an active positive member of our community I have been able to educate others on the gift of homeschooling. The passage tonight reminds me of the night I decided to homeschool. I had felt compelled to give that education to my children and that it was the right thing to do. I met obstacles along the way and one huge one was educator questioning my ability as they questioned Jesus. I had a degree in retail management and working on one in psychology but because it wasn’t education I was made to feel inferior when it came to helping my children. I followed God and today im now an advocate

Definitely prayer. Think about prayer requests you know about and ask God which person needs my influence and in what form does that look like? Maybe I’m to pray for a physical healing, ie doctors and nurses, spiritual healing, or….. Spend time speaking with God quietly and meditating on His Word. You may not even know, but the Holy Spirit knows and will tell you how to use your influence.

One of my favorite quotes is “What do you do you speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” I think by not just saying the right things but following up with action is crucial!

When you gossip, you are tearing others down. By choosing not to take part in gossiping, you are essentially standing up for the person or person(s) being torn down. Hopefully, others will be influenced by your actions!

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