Summary: As we come to the rest of Mark 1, we are confronted with the amazing power & authority of God’s servant – Jesus Christ. Today, let’s look at the amazing power of God’s Servant!
The Gospel of Mark # 3 – “The Servant’s Power”
1. Have you ever known someone who abused their power or authority?
2. ILL - In Cuba, nothing was bigger than baseball, except for Fidel Castro. When he was 74, he grabbed an aluminum bat & walked to the plate in an exhibition game against Venezuela. When Castro approached the batter's box, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, left his 1st base position to take the mound. His 1st pitch didn't even reach the plate. The next pitch was a strike, but Castro missed. A couple more balls & an attempted bunt later, the 2 heads of state were locked into a full count. Castro watched the 3-2 pitch sail through the middle of the strike zone & listened as the umpire called him out. “No,” Castro said, “that was a ball.” And he took 1st base. No one argued. Chavez said nothing, the opposing team said nothing & the umpire said nothing. Later Castro joked, “Today just wasn't President Chavez's day.” It is hard to get a batter out when he has the power to overrule the umpire.
3. As we come to the rest of Mark 1, we are confronted with the amazing power & authority of God’s servant – Jesus Christ.
4. Mark 1:22, 27 (Read) **In these verses we find the word “authority” used of Christ twice.
5. Gr. (exousia) = the power of authority and the right of privilege.
6. It is important to remember that while Jesus was on earth, He never ceased to be God. However, He did lay aside some of His divine privileges & He did not use His position for personal gain (Phil. 2:5-8). We do know that God gave to Jesus the authority to do many miracles (John 20:30), to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6-8) & to give eternal life (John 5:26-27). After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18). We also know that one day “every knee will bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).
7. One of the strongest portraits of Christ’s power in Scripture is in the book of Daniel.
8. Daniel 7:13-14 “13In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
9. Today, let’s look at the amazing power of God’s Servant!
I. The Surprise of His Power – His Preaching (Vs. 16-22)
Mark delights in sharing the emotional response people had toward Jesus. Vs. 22 states that they were “amazed” at His preaching because He spoke with such authority & power!
How was Christ’s authority demonstrated through His preaching?
A. Demonstrated individually – Andrew, Peter, James & John (vs. 16-20)
1. They were at work in their everyday lives when they were transformed by the call & message of Christ. (**Imagine yourself in their position)!
2. The Word of Christ had the power to change these men from ordinary fisherman to the apostles of Christ that would one day “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).
3. The Word still has that kind of power today!
4. Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
B. Demonstrated corporately – the Synagogue at Capernaum (vs. 21-22)
1. The context in which Jesus was preaching needs to be stated to understand why it had such an effect on its hearers. **Explain – the synagogue & the scribes (rabbi’s)…
2. An example of Jesus teaching is found in Luke 4:16-21 (read).
3. Jesus teaching was based on His own authority & it challenged & changed individuals as well as entire worship communities.
4. This begs 2 questions –
a. Is Christ’s Word your authority? In our desires, decisions & daily routines?
b. Is Christ’s Word the authority of our church? Committees & services?
c. ILL – A battleship was in heavy weather for several days. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities. Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing reported, “Light, bearing on the starboard bow.” “Is it steady or moving astern?” the captain called out. The lookout replied, “Steady, Captain,” which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship. The captain then called to the signalman, “Signal that ship: ‘We are on a collision course, advise you change course 20o.’” Back came the signal, “Advisable for you to change course 20o.” The captain said, “Send: ‘I'm a captain, change course 20o.’” “I'm a seaman 2nd class,” came the reply. “You had better change course 20o.” By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, “Send: ‘I'm a battleship. Change course 20o.’” Back came the flashing light, “I'm a lighthouse.” We changed course.