Summary: The authority of others is limited by time and boundaries as their authority will one day come to an end. But, the authority of Jesus never ends.
THE INVINCIBLE AUTHORITY OF JESUS
Text: Mark 1:21-28
Someone anonymous once poignantly said something very profound about Jesus: "I am far within the mark when I say that all armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of mankind on this earth as powerfully as that One Solitary Life". (Massey Mott Heltzel. The Invincible Christ. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1952, p. 10). This statement tells us about the ageless authority of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Someone else put it like this: "So very many people are afraid that religion will be strangled and the soul of the human race destroyed, for that has been the threat of every dictator throughout the ages. Is it not remarkable that not a single one has ever succeeded in his determination?" (Leonard Cochran. Man At His Best. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1952, p. 74). Jesus Christ is Lord of all! Others may have authority and power. Only Jesus has the power to save people from their wages of their sin which is death (Romans 6:23). The authority of others is limited by time and boundaries as their authority will one day come to an end. But, the authority of Jesus never ends!
JESUS CHALLENGES THE STATUS QUO
Jesus challenges the status quo that tries to hinder God’s grace. Jesus did not speak and conclude His statements as did some of the prophets by saying, "Thus saith the Lord". The authentic prophets of the Old Testament that were selected by God spoke with authority and concluded by saying "Thus saith the Lord" because their authority and message was given to them by God. Jesus spoke with authority because HE IS LORD! "And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes" (Mark 1:21 KJV). Jesus obviously spoke with authority that the scribes often seemed to lack in their teaching. They (the scribes) obviously had what someone has labeled as "positional authority" that seemed to lack in it’s ability to satisfy spiritual hunger. "Positional authority without power leaves churches suffering. It also leaves hurting people unchanged in a world where people need to be healed". (David N. Mosser. Ed. The Abingdon Preaching Annual. 2003 Edition. Joseph Daniels. "Leadership With Authority". Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002, p. 68). Jesus seemed to be challenging the status quo of whatever hinders God’s saving grace in both individuals and institutions like the synagogue in Mark 1:21-8.
Jesus challenges his listeners to believe and receive God’s grace. Jesus came to heal brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, give recovery of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those that are bruised (Luke 4:18). The Bible says that faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). That is why Jesus taught not only in the synagogue, but also everywhere He went. Jesus was effective in reaching those who believed because His message was empowered by God, His Father. He had also been anointed by God’s Spirit to preach the gospel (Luke 4:18). And God’s Spirit was calling to repentance those that Jesus was preaching to wherever He went. Jesus had left all the glory of heaven to come and live among us as one of us and also as God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16). Jesus was and is God in human flesh. It is through our belief in His message that we have been given the chance to become God’s adopted sons and daughters. Jesus came to us in the way that He did so that we might have the chance to receive His righteousness as He exchanged it for our sinfulness that He took upon Himself (Second Corinthians 5:22) as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) that He took to cross. Only God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ has this kind of power and authority! This is how and why Jesus always challenges his listeners to believe and receive God’s gift of grace!
Jesus challenges people to accept His gift of salvation because our salvation only comes through Him! Jesus is the solid rock and all other ground is sinking sand! "Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says, "The stone that you builders despised turned out to be most important of all. Salvation is found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us" (Acts 4:11-12 TEV). No king or kingdom, ruler or dictator, government, organization or individual can ever give us eternal life! No one else has conquered sin, death and the fear of death! God only gave this authority to Jesus Christ! We are powerless and hopeless without Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior! That is why without Jesuswe can do nothing (John 15:5)!