Summary: Is the work of Jesus in your life one of authority and power that will amaze people? Series on Mark

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When Linda and I were in college we attended a service where there was a Christian Illusionist. That morning he carried with him a Chicago Tribune newspaper. It was very thick. He then was blindfolded and turned his back on the congregation. He had the pastor to pick someone from the congregation to come up and get the newspaper and take it into the congregation. He was to pick one section from the newspaper and hand it to someone else. That person was to pick one page from that section and hand it to someone else. That person was to pick an article from the page and show it and hand it to someone else. That person was to chose on sentence from the article and underline it and bring it to the platform and hand it to the preacher. All the time this was happening, the illusionist, with his back to the audience had removed the blindfold enough to be able to write. He sealed what he wrote in an envelope and handed it to the music pastor. The pastor then read the line that was selected from the congregation. To our surprise, the music pastor read the same line. The Illusionist told us that it was a trick, yet the command he had over the trick put us in a state of true amazement.

I think of great preachers I have read or heard:

John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, Matthew Henry,

T.W. Willingham, Stephen Manly, Thomas Hermez, Billy Graham,

Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley, Max Lucado, etc.

Yet I could still not come up with something that I thought would bring to your mind the “amazement”( to stupefy (with surprise), that is, astound:—amaze, astonish.)

But after hearing and seeing Jesus, that’s exactly how they were!

Wouldn’t it be fair to say that when we come to know Jesus and make Him known, that people will be amazed at the work and blessing He provides?

Let’s see what created all this amazement.


A. There are several things we need to understand:

1. He taught in the synagogue.

This was not just a place where people

could come and say, “I would like to say someone”, and they would just let them come and teach.

His reputation and preparation must have proceeded Him.

2. Not like the “teachers of the law” “scribes”

This story introduces the "teachers of the law" or scribes who will be Jesus’ opponents throughout his ministry. These men were not copyists but scholars, experts in the "traditions" by which the Jews interpreted and lived out the Torah. As custodians of the interpretation of scripture, the scribes were fulfilling a good and serious function and we should never cast them in the role of "the bad guys." Their passion was to construct an entire life built around the foundation of the law. In this they left no stone unturned and tried to leave no question unaddressed. Jesus does not oppose them for their function, but -as Matthew 23 stresses- for their misinterpretations and hypocrisies. Ray Steadman

Jesus taught with the divine authority!

B. Is there an air of authority, Christ’s authority that surrounds what we say and do?

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