3rd January 2020

The One With Authority

“And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.”
Mark 1:21-22 (ESV UK)

Right from the beginning of his gospel, Marks highlights that Jesus was different from those before him. He came not as a prophet, but as one who was foretold by the prophets. At his baptism the heavens themselves declared that he was the Son of God and he was anointed with the Holy Spirit descending upon him like a dove. In the desert he lived with wild animals, and the angels ministered to him. At his call, people left their families and jobs to follow him and learn at his feet. Crowds followed Jesus, astonished and amazed by his teachings, at how he healed the sick and lame, at how he rescued people from unclean spirits.

In the verse above, we see that people were astonished not just with what he taught, but with how he taught. Unlike the scribes, Jesus did not support his teaching with appeals to what Moses had said or the words of famous Rabbis. Instead, the authority for his teaching came from Jesus himself. Jesus did not just preach that “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15), he showed them the kingdom of God when he healed those who were sick and lame, when he restored sight to the blind, when he healed the lepers so that they could re-join the community, when he rescued those enslaved by evil spirits.

In the gospel accounts and the book of Acts, we see how the teachings of Jesus have the power to heal and transform lives, to herald the breaking in of the Kingdom of God into our world. As Jesus’ disciples, what we learn when we study his Word is not just an academic exercise. We are called to participate with Jesus in changing this world, in declaring that the kingdom of God is at hand in power and in truth.

Prayer
Our Father in heaven, let us never forget that you have the power to transform lives, to heal what we have broken, to rescue us from the power of evil. Let us be your disciples, to trust that you never ask of us something that you have not also given us the power to do. To you be the glory forever and ever.
Amen

Study by Gavin Henderson
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About the Author:
Gavin Henderson is an Elder and the Operations Manager of the National Ministry Team for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
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Contact:
gavin.henderson@gracecom.church
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