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Summary: To the Jewish people, the Greatest men of the Old Testament were Moses, David, and Elijah, and they expected the Messiah to be like all three of these men in some ways. Jesus proved Himself greater than them all.

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The Authority Thing: Choice or Coercion?

(Mark 1:21-34)

Intro

1. Every quarter in our bulletins we have an insert from Voice of the Martyrs.

2. Today’s insert is about Li Dexian. Let me read part of it: Pastor Li Dexian has been beaten so hard by Chinese government officials that he coughed up blood; on one occaions, his face was beaten with his own Bible. He has been sent to "re-education" camp time and again. He keeps his bags packed, ready for prison. Yet his faith remains strong (info from VOM, Summer 2001)

3. What makes a man take such an unwavering stand for Jesus Christ? What makes a man that submissive to heaven’s demands?

4. One thing we can say about Li, He believes that Jesus Christ is the Lord of his life.

5. Jesus is actively wooing people to make that decision, even as He did in New Testament times to His own people, the Jews.

Main Idea: To the Jewish people, the Greatest men of the Old Testament were Moses, David, and Elijah, and they expected the Messiah to be like all three of these men in some ways. Jesus proved Himself greater than them all.

TS---->Let me READ our TEXT

I. Our Text Shows How The Evidence Proves that Jesus is the Messiah (Mark 1:21-34)

1. Christ’s Teaching Style in Contrast to the Pharisees: Christ Was Like Moses, the Lawgiver

(1) The Scribes and Pharisees taught by quoting famous Rabbi after famous Rabbi...rehashed and made the Scriptures seem remote to the people

(2) Jesus taught with AUTHORITY

---Went right to the Scriptures, bypassed the traditions of the Rabbis...Mark 7:8-9

----Added His own words TO the Scriptures....either arrogant or authoritative...

----It is written, but I say...HE SPOKE THE VERY WORD OF GOD BECAUSE HE IS GOD

~~In ancient Judaism, the Messiah was thought to have authority to alter the LAW~~

----He spoke practically, clearly, used parables...

(3) True teachers of the Word today SHOULD NOT teach based on their own authority---ministers are not Messiahs, not the Son of God, though some have egos that make you wonder...., but they CAN go right to the Word, not adding traditions to traditions

---the can teach practically---

2. Christ’s Authority Over Satan in Contrast to the Pharisees: Like David

(1) Summarize paper on demons

(2) The Pharisees and Scribes had long exorcism rituals that sometimes proved effective, sometimes not

(3) In the OT, King Saul was afflicted by a demon, and David played on his harp/sang Psalms to drive it away

------Jewish tradition: King Solomon was an expert exorcist----

(4) Jesus speaks the word, and the demon is cast out

(5) Note the reaction of the people in vs. 27

3. Christ’s Authority Over Illness in Contrast to the Pharisees: Like Elijah

IN OT, Elijah worked miracles at times similar to those of Christ...healing/resurrecting

(1) before the time of Christ, the Jews boasted of Choni the Circle Drawer.....

-----would not get out of circle till God sent rain

-----would pray for people and then predict whether God would answer (the prayer of faith)

(2) Peter’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever (many died from infection before penicillin)

(3) After Sunset, the Jews are carrying in the sick and Jesus is healing them...

----Why after Sunset? To obey their understanding of the Sabbath commandment

(4) As he drove out demons, he refused to let them speak

---when they saw Him, they were obligated to confess who He was

----Christ wanted people to be led to believe in Him thru His teachings & ministry,

not through Satanic revelation....

II. So What Does This All Mean to Us?

1. We must account for Christ’s teaching and miracle working

(1) both ancient Jewish sources and ancient pagan Greek sources label Jesus a sorcerer; there was no doubt that He worked miracles by those who saw Him, even by those who rejected Him

(2) Some of the Pharisees accused Him of working miracles in the power of the devil

2. Most of us have concluded that Jesus is the Messiah, God the Son.....so what?

(1) Just like the scribes and Pharisees back then, no religious leader can take the place of Jesus

---we have our own modern evangelical personality cults.....easy to get hooked on a leader

(2) But we must maintain a close, personal walk with Jesus.....His Word, prayer, His Spirit, trust

3. We, too, are in a spiritual warfare with Satan....

(1) few, if any of us, will participate in an exorcism...

(2) But the battle rages: Satanic cults/rock culture, occult/new age, the demolition of the family, the attempt to use our government to eliminate all vestiges of our nation’s Christian roots

(3) End time events: one world religion, a falling away from the true faith....

4. We, too, are invaded by sickness and disease--within our own bodies and those we love...

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