Monday, August 26, 2013

Authority (Mark 1:21-28)

“…they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.”

Most completely miss the point of this story. It isn’t hard to see why. We see something outlandish and cinematic like a demonic possession—no wait, an exorcism—and we assume that is what the story is about.

How impressive must Christ’s teaching have been if it overshadowed His exorcism skills?

This is the first of seven stories demonstrating Christ’s authority here in Mark. Later we will see stories showing His authority over natural maladies, supernatural maladies, and sin, the natural realm, the supernatural realm, and even death. However, this first one shows people being amazed at His teaching. Not His ability to teach per say, although that was likely top notch, but the content. His message had authority because he wasn’t teaching ideas or theories he had learned or created. He was teaching truth.

Oh, that and He is God. So while we can pass His teaching along by teaching what we learn from Him, we can never aspire to this sort of teaching on our own part. This story is an example to learn from but not one to try to emulate. It is probably a good idea to remember no matter how certain we are in our own understanding of things there is always the likelihood that we are missing something or even misunderstood things. Let Jesus teach with authority and stick to humility.

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