Once again, here are my sermon notes for those who are interested…
Jesus: Man of Authority.
1. Last week we looked at the opening verses of Mark’s gospel. The question that is at the heart of the first half of Mark is Who is Jesus?
2. This week we are going to see that Jesus is a man of authority.
a. Do you ever get bothered about confusing advice? Go into any bookshop these days and you will find a huge selection of books that tell you how to live a better life. Even on the shelves of the Christina bookshop you will find conflicting advice so how do you cope?
b. Spiritual problems?
c. Then there is the problem of sickness that seems to strike so often just when life was going so well. Even at times frustrates what we thought were God’s plans.
d. Sometimes do you ever get bothered by the sheer scale of problems. Just so many – too many
e. Then there are the serious problems. The ones that you can do nothing about where there are no human answers.
3. This morning we are going to follow a day in the life of Jesus
Sabbath morning 10am
It’s the Sabath day in Capernaum and the community gathers for worship. This morning will be an unusual service:
1. First, today they have a visiting Rabbi. And the congregation is surprised, its not what they normally get.
a. Look at verse 22. Such an important verse for the passage. The people are amazed, at his teaching because “he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teaches of the law.”
b. The whole of the passage we have read this morning has something to say about the authority of Jesus.
c. Jesus has unusual authority to teach. What was it that was so remarkable about the teaching that they heard from Jesus? Had that congregation become used to teaching that lacked spiritual authority. Teaching that was based on the opinions of men. That day there was a preacher in the pulpit whose message was not a collection of thoughts from other rabbi’s but was what God had to say to the world.
d. Actually it’s Jesus whose answers to life’s questions are authoritative. The shops may be full of books which are full of ideas, but it’s Jesus who has authority.
2. Secondly at some point in the service, there is a disturbance, and someone starts to cry out: “What do you want with us Jesus of Nazereth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are- the holy one of God.”
a. This man is afflicted by an evil spirit. We are told by the passage that he is possessed by an evil spirit. Propably should read “had an evil spirit” [The NT never actually describes someone as possessed by an evil spirit]
b. What the man shouts: This is a remarkable statement- No human being accurately understands who Jesus is until chapter 8, but the demons know who Jesus is.
c. Knowing the truth doesn’t make you Christian. There is a huge difference between knowing Jesus is the saviour and knowing that Jesus is your saviour.
3. Jesus has authority over evil spirits. Notice no technique, no ritual, no holy water, no cross, just a simple word of command and the man is released.
4. Jesus authority is remarkable. v27 This crowd is perhaps used to seeing people afflicted by demons. But not used to seeing people delivered.
Soon After 12pm on….
They leave the synagogue and go to the home of Simon and Andrew. There we find that the mother of Simon’s [Peter] mother in law is sick with a fever.
1. And they told Jesus about her.
2. Jesus authority over sickness. Jesus goes to her and takes her hand and helps her up. The implication is that she is returned to complete complaint.
3. Again notice the marked absence of technique. No complicated ritual, no show, in private, and not even any words. Jesus simply takes her hand and she is healed.
4. Isn’t there a tendency to look for the things that work. And isn’t there a temptation to begin trusting in the techniques. It’s Jesus who has the authority.
After Sunset 7pm….
And then the evening comes and the sun sets. And the crowds come and bring the sick and the demonised to Jesus. Why now. Because the Sabbath is over.
1. Ever felt overwhelmed? Ever felt that there was just too much to do? Too many needs to meet. Here is the good news Jesus authority extends even to this crowd and many are healed.
2. Jesus has authority over sickness and demons for many.
3. Eventually the ministry comes to an end for the day, and one suspects that very late they retire.
Very early 4am.
We read that very early in the morning Jesus goes to a solitary place to pray. Here is a Jesus who spends time alone with his Father. Is this where Jesus authority comes from?
1. Simon and friends come looking for Jesus fully expecting that the ministry of the previous evening would be resumed. “Everyone is looking for you”
2. But Jesus has authority over himself. Jesus knows that this is not why he has come. And so he tells the disciples. V38 [cf 1:14-15]
And so that’s what they do.
We don’t know when, we just know that a man with leprosy comes to him. And begs with him. “If you are willing you can make me clean.”
The man’s confidence in Jesus authority, but lacks belief in his mercy.
The man has a terrible skin condition. It could have been the real thing Leprosy or Hansen’s disease or some other skin complaint that looked like it, but the effect was terrible.
The law required : LEV 13:45 “The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, `Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp” For the protection of the community.
- Jesus has authority over uncleanness.. Jesus reaches out his hand and touches the untouchable. This is an unnecessary act, of mercy. He did not need to touch the man to heal him. [remember Simon’s mother in law.]
- Jesus has merciful authority.
Why does Jesus command the man not to tell anyone.? [Irony that he tells everyone] For that matter why tell the demon to be silent? V25
Jesus popularity is linked with his miracles rather than his message.
Jesus miracles were wonderful demonstrations of his authority. But made no eternal lasting difference
Perhaps there are some today who are only interested In a Jesus who meets their earthly needs.
For the demonised man, for Simon’s mother in law, for the many for the leper. Miracles made things better, but it was Jesus message that changes things.
Jesus’ Miracles make a difference, his message makes all the difference.