Summary: As we continue our series through Mark, I want us to see why it is important to allow Jesus to have authority over your decisions, your possessions and your life. For if we are going to be the “little Christ”; it will be because we recognize the authority
Authority – The power or right to control, judge or prohibit the actions of others.
Authority – A person or group having power.
Authority – An expert in a particular field.
Authority – The ability to influence or control others.
These are just a few of the definitions one finds when they look up the word authority. Authority is a French word that literally means the power to enforce obedience.
All around us we see authority
Parental authority (pic of parents)
Military authority (pic of a general)
Religious authority (pic of pope)
Civil authority (pic of policeman)
We live in a culture that questions authority – for many of us we do not like to be told what to do or when to do something. In the 60’s people were encouraged to question authority. Civil disobedience was seen on college campus and at public gatherings. If you grew up in the 80’s your remember John Mellencamp’s Authority song “I fought authority and authority always wins” or maybe you are familiar with the group “they might be giants” – “You’re not the boss of me”
Today we see a rise in militias and a tolerance where people are asking who gave you the right to judge or who put you in charge – We seem to question authority.
We should not be surprised people question authority; for since the beginning of time people have been questioning God’s authority.
It began in the book of Genesis; 15The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17
In verse 15, God transfers his authority of keeping the garden to Adam. Adam take care of this place, tend it care for it – this is your place. But one thing; do not eat from the tree of knowledge from Good and Evil – if you do; you die.
The serpent and Eve are having a conversation regarding the forbidden tree – she states she cannot eat from it.
Everything is fine up to this point; then the authority issue comes up. 4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. Genesis 3:4-6
Bottom Line; we do not like authority – we do not like to have someone having charge of our lives or our decisions and we will question and rebel against authority when that happens.
Yet authority was what people recognized in the life of Jesus.
It was authority that caused the Pharisees to question Jesus – By whose authority do you heal, by whose authority do you forgive sins, by whose authority do you violate the Sabbath.
It was authority that Jesus claimed after his resurrection when he told his disciples; All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18
As we continue our series through Mark, I want us to see why it is important to allow Jesus to have authority over your decisions, your possessions and your life. For if we are going to be the “little Christ”; it will be because we recognize the authority Jesus has in our life.
In Mark 1, the gospel writer Mark gives us three signs that Jesus was a man of authority.
Note verses Mark 1:20-22
21They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach.
22The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.
Verse 21, He taught in the synagogue
The people knew Jesus had authority from God as it was witnessed at his baptism. God confirmed his authority on him when the voice came from heaven announcing his pleasure in his son’s obedience of baptism. Now they hear his authority – Mark does not tell us the content of his message, just that it is an authoritative message – Verse 22, he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.
Why is that so important? Why does Mark make the comparison between Jesus and the religious leaders? If you are going to put your life in the hands of someone; you want to be sure they know what they are talking about. Think about it…