November 17, 2011

The New Teaching of Jesus

Mark 1:27-28

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   Jesus changed people by His power and teaching.  Today we will read a few verses that show the link between His power and His teaching.  He had concluded His teaching and His exorcism in the synagogue, and then Mark focused upon the reaction of the audience in the synagogue. 

They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’

Mark 1:27

        Debated among Themselves.   In Mark 1:27,  we read that the audience in the synagogue were all amazed.  We have seen this same reaction in Mark 1:22, where the audience was amazed at His teaching, because Jesus taught with authority, and not as the scribes.  As believers, we should always understand that the ultimate authority in all matters is Jesus Christ.  In the New Testament, we have a record of the words spoken by Jesus, and those words have been faithfully recorded for us.  Those words reveal the authority of Christ to us.  I meet many people who constantly search for truth regarding Islam, Buddhism, and other religions, but do not consult what Jesus said.  For example, Jesus plainly taught that He alone was the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).  As believers in Christ, we follow the teaching of Jesus, and Jesus proclaimed that all religions that add to or subtract from the teachings of Jesus are false religions.  Therefore, Islam, Buddhism, and every other religion that contradicts that Jesus is the only way to heaven are false religions.  Because of the truth Jesus taught with His own authority, the people were amazed.  We should keep in mind the admonition that, as believers, we are to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3).  Notice that our faith rests upon revelation delivered in the first century A.D., plus the Old Testament.  We must rely upon that faith handed down to the saints then, and not some revelation by a man wearing special eyeglasses provided by some angel, or a man who had a vision from God in the last few centuries.  If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, then remember Jude 3, and contend for the faith once and for all handed down to the saints.  While others debate among themselves what Jesus meant or who Jesus was, we know Him as the God-Man who died on the cross for our sins, so that by faith He promised to forgive as many as received Him and His gift of forgiveness.  We live because He rose from the grave triumphant, never to taste death for us again.

       A New Teaching with Authority.  In Mark 1:27,  we read about the audience’s perception of authority.  This term “authority” (“ἐξουσίαν“) describes in this case the absolute power to command demons.  Previously, the audience had seen His authority in the substance and delivery of His teaching.  Jesus welded together in the mind of the audience the power of His teaching and the power of command over the unclean spirits.  Because the audience was amazed, we see here that such exorcisms were as uncommon as the new teaching of Jesus.  As Jesus intended, one reinforced the power of the other.  Consider too the role of the unclean spirit speaking out: Jesus used the unclean spirit to magnify His authority and His power over demons, and demonstrated it for everyone in the synagogue.  We should not overlook the main beneficiary of the exorcism: the man who was now free from that unclean spirit.  Not only did Jesus manifest His authority, but He also demonstrated His compassion and loving-kindness for the man.  That man would be living proof of the message and power of Jesus Christ to change lives, and bring deliverance.  Even the unclean spirits obeyed Him, and every one in the audience had now witnessed the King of the Kingdom of God exercise His power in ways they could not grasp.  The evidence was standing right in front of them: the unclean spirit left the man at the command of Jesus.

Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Mark 1:28

       The News about Jesus Spread Everywhere.   Jesus did not permit the unclean spirit to speak (Mark 1:25).  Jesus used His actions and the obedience of the unclean spirit to proclaim a far more powerful message of triumph than the lies demons speak (John 8:44).  Jesus knew how to spread His teachings by demonstrating the power of God over demons and the devil himself.  Jesus came to preach to those synagogues in Galilee, and to give His life ultimately as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).  Jesus takes deliberate steps to spread news about Him even today.  Through His disciples, Jesus spreads the good news of salvation all over the world.  He wants you to talk about the great things He is doing in your life (Psalm 145:6), and letting people know He still loves people today, and His teachings can change lives when coupled with His power working in your life.

   So we learn more about Jesus and exorcism today.

     ●  Jesus silenced the demon, but His power over the demons made news all over Galilee.

    ● Jesus demonstrated His love for the man with the unclean spirit, and amazed the crowd not only with His teaching, but also with His authority over unclean spirits.

    ●  Jesus wants everyone to hear about His teaching with authority, and His divine love for everyone.  He wants to use your life and your words to spread the good news of salvation and eternal life in Him today. 

Application for Today

        As I walk through life today, Jesus will be spreading His message of authority and power today.  He will be speaking through His Bible, the Word of God, and through the lips of men and women, boys and girls, who testify to His power working in our lives today.  In us, I trust everyone around us will see Jesus and His powerful love in action today.  Will you be spreading the news of Jesus today?

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