Summary: Another look at the authority of Jesus and the authority of Holy Scripture
January 28, 2018
Reading: Mark 1:21-28
The Holy One of God
We don’t get very far in this reading until we are met with Jesus;’ encounter with a demon possessed man in the synagogue, there in Capernaum, right along with all the worshippers. Jesus was there teaching. Mark says that all were astonished at His teaching. Why? Well it says that He spoke with authority and not as the scribes who spoke traditionally from week to week.
Today there just might be a pulpit or two that is occupied by a traditional speaking preacher, who delivers a routine message, week after week. The example for us here is to share the reading, give some background when available and then deliver the authoritative message of THE HOLY ONE OF GOD.
We derive at His message in prayer, meditation, study and submission to His authority.
I am reminded of our reading and message back in September from Matthew 21:23-32 entitled:
BY WHOSE AUTHORITY. Do you remember? The Sanhedrin challenged Jesus, seeking to entrap Him: “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”
Just as a refresher, Jesus responded and challenged the Sanhedrin priests to tell Him: “The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” They could not give Jesus a straight answer. As always!
In today’s reading, as Jesus is speaking a man cried out, “Let us alone! What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are-The Holy One of God!” I gotta tell you, if I was speaking in the church and that happened, I would definitely be taken aback. I have experienced the challenge of a demon spirit, right in the middle of an all-night funeral vigil.
It was in a small dark native home in the Dominican Republic. There was no electricity, no running water, a dirt floor and only a candle burning. Suddenly, a voodoo witch doctor entered the home and went to the deceased baby’s burial coffin and started to place a ribbon and stone on his wrist. The family ordered him not to, saying that this baby was a Christian baby and would be buried as a Christian baby.
I had never seen the man before and I was admittedly nervous, but more concerned about the sanctity of the occasion than this situation. He came right over to me and shouted at me just inches from my face, grabbed little Juandin who was in my lap and forcefully tied the ribbon and stone to his little wrist. I began to pray, “Lord, I don’t know how to respond to this. The last thing this family needs right now is some major confrontation be it verbal or physical. Help me God.” God spoke very clearly back to me saying, “Do nothing. This is My fight and I will deal with it.” At that very instant, little Juandin pushed his thumb under the ribbon and pulled and stretched and removed it for his arm and threw it in the dirt. He looked that witch doctor straight in the face and literally yelled, “Nooooooooo!”
The witch doctor went to the other side of the little hut and sat there glaring at me. I don’t know when he left but no one has ever seen him since that night.
In our reading, Jesus merely rebuked the evil spirit by saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
The demon spirit came out immediately, to everyone’s amazement. There was no question of His authority, for it was demonstrated right there before their eyes.
The most important thing for us to remember beyond where the “authority” comes from but also where the message comes from. You see, the root of the message comes directly from the Word of God.
Jesus spoke in the synagogue that day with Authority. Jesus speaks today with that same authority and it is spoken in His Word – The Eternal Word
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
Jesus – God the Son IS the Word. Jesus didn’t get His authority from a church board, from a seminary, from a popular vote or any other means. Jesus is GOD the SON and that is His authority.
When God the Father or God the Son or God the Holy Ghost speaks through a person in the pulpit, it is HIS authority that is being spoken. I don’t want to be critical, but in my mind and belief system if a message is not born of Scripture and ordained of God – it is a message from man not God.
Let us continue to seek God’s message; let us continue to deliver out of His authority and let us acknowledge such. Method of preaching may contain illustrations of varying kinds and the manner of delivery may certainly be of man but let us strive to seek God’s message!
Let us pray