Summary: Jesus has the authority to take care of your problems with Satan, physical illness, psychological problems, and of course, spiritual problems.


Text: Mark 1:21 – 2:12; read 1:21, 22, 32 – 39


•Once when I was a substitute teacher, I was given the task of making 300 students sit quietly in the gymnasium at lunch time

•I was not able to do it, but the principal came in, shouted, and they all got quiet enough to hear a pin drop

•He had authority; I didn’t

•Authority – the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior (Webster’s)

•The scribes of Jesus’ day spent their entire time quoting other Rabbis when speaking at the synagogue

•Jesus said “This is what it means”

•After all, He should know; He was the Word made flesh

•Between 1:21 and 2:12, Mark provides us with 4 demonstrations of Jesus’ authority

I. Christ has authority over satanic problems. (1:23 – 28)

A. Demon possession was a problem during the first century (Gospels and Acts)

B. Still occurs today; some are diagnosed as insane; voodoo in Haiti and Jamaica; maybe reason behind serial killers

C. Exorcists in Jesus’ day did one of 2 things:

• Tried to revolt or scare the demon out (smelly root up the nose)

• Invoked the name of a higher spirit

D. Jesus shows His authority over satanic powers simply by speaking

E. Today

1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

Ephesians 6:11 – 13 – “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

• I was never possessed by the devil, but certainly influenced by him

• My life before I became a Christian

• When I was saved, Christ used His authority to break satan’s hold on my life and to set me free

• He has the authority to help you with that temptation or sin

II. Christ has authority over physical problems. (1:29 – 31)

A. Not told exactly what was wrong, just fever

B. Serious enough for her to stay in bed

C. Jesus shows His authority over the illness by taking her by the hand and lifting her out of bed

D. Fever left immediately – no recovery time needed

E. This was a personal event that happened in the privacy of home

F. The disciples had already learned to take their needs to Jesus

G. We need to do the same

• God took away my arthritis (immediately)

• Christians: sometimes heals in this life; sometimes tells you that His grace is sufficient and heals you in the next life; but you will be healed

• One day I may face an illness where God tells me His grace is sufficient; I will have to trust Him

III. Christ has authority over psychological problems. (1:40 – 45)

A. Several diseases referred to as leprosy in Bible

B. Leprosy is a chronic, infectious disease characterized by sores, scabs, and white shining spots beneath the skin. (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

C. This disease "begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body” (Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary)

D. Results in numbness, deformity, paralysis

E. This man had a physical problem, but Jesus saw that he had an even bigger psychological problem

F. Leprosy was incurable, and anyone with leprosy was considered “the walking dead”

• They were isolated from the rest of society, forced to live in the desert or wilderness

• They were forced to wear mourning clothes, required to leave their hair in disorder, and required to shout “unclean, unclean”

• Anyone who had any contact with a leper or anything that he had touched was considered ceremonially unclean by the Jews

• Leprosy was thought to be a punishment from God, so lepers were regarded as great sinners

• Jews would throw rocks at lepers to keep them away

G. Notice that the man had faith that Jesus could heal him; he questioned whether or not Jesus would heal him

H. Jesus shows his authority over psychological problems by doing the unthinkable – He reaches out and touches the man, probably giving him his first human touch in years; healed immediately

I. He let him know that he still had value as a human

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