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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   A Teacher With Authority (1:21-28)


1. Up to this point in Mark's gospel, everything has been preliminary...
   a. The ministry of John the Baptist, sent to prepare the way of the
   b. The baptism of Jesus, introducing Jesus to Israel as the Lamb of
   c. The temptation of Jesus, preparing Him to face the difficult tasks
   d. The theme of His preaching, concerning the coming kingdom of God
   e. The calling of His disciples, who would eventually carry on His

2. But now we begin to read of Jesus' actual ministry...
   a. Things He did
   b. Things He taught

[When people saw and heard Jesus, they immediately noticed something
different.  Especially in regards to His teaching, for He was "A Teacher
With Authority."  In the text (Mk 1:21-28), note first His...]


      1. Capernaum - on the NW shore of Galilee where Jesus lived - Mk
         1:21; Mt 4:12-13
      2. On the Sabbath, teaching in the synagogue - Mk 1:21
         a. The Law of Moses was still in effect, so as an observant Jew
            Jesus kept the Sabbath
         b. The synagogue on the Sabbath provided a ready audience
      3. Luke gave a detailed description of what it was like when Jesus
         spoke in the synagogue at Nazareth - cf. Lk 4:16-22
      -- Teaching in synagogues became a feature of His itinerant
         ministry - cf. Mk 1:38-39

      1. Astonished the people - Mk 1:22; cf. Mt 7:28-29
      2. Note this later reaction:  "No man ever spoke like this Man!"
         - Jn 7:46
      3. Because He taught as one having authority, not like the scribes
         - Mk 1:22
         a. Scribes would quote well-known rabbis as their authority for
            what they taught
         b. But Jesus would say things like "But I say to you..." - cf.
            Mt 5:27-28,31-32; 19:8-9
      -- Jesus spoke that way because He had authority (even to forgive
         sins)! - cf. Mk 2:10

[But it wasn't just the manner of His teaching.  Jesus complemented His
teaching with miraculous signs, thus...]


      1. Demonstrated by casting out an unclean spirit - Mk 1:23-26
         a. In a man who was in the synagogue
         b. That knew Jesus' true identity as the Holy One of God!
         c. Whom Jesus rebuked, then cast out
      2. What were unclean spirits (demons)?
         a. Their origin not clearly stated in Scripture, but their
            reality acknowledged
         b. Some believe they were spirits of wicked men (Josephus,
            Alexander Campbell)
         c. Others view them as fallen angels (though bound to Tartarus)
            - 2Pe 2:4; Jude 1:6
      3. Demonic activity in the Bible appears in waves
         a. There is more recorded demonic activity during Jesus' life
            than any other time in biblical history - Baker's
            Evangelical Dictionary
         b. If fallen angels, perhaps temporarily released during such
            times so God's true servants could be identified by their
            authority to cast them out of those who were possessed
      4. Jesus later explained His casting out of demons was evidence of
         the coming rule or reign of God - cf. Mt 12:28
      -- Jesus proved He had authority by casting out the unclean spirit

      1. The people in the synagogue are amazed - Mk 1:27
         a. They wonder what new doctrine is being revealed
         b. Which was the purpose of such signs, to reveal and confirm
            the doctrine was from God - cf. Mk 16:17-20; He 2:3-4
         c. They understood that He not only spoke with authority, He
            acted with authority!
      2. His fame spread throughout all Galilee - Mk 1:28
         a. A natural reaction to such an amazing event
         b. One that would later make it difficult for Jesus - cf. Mk
      -- The people were amazed, but they understood the significance of
         the miracle:  this Man must be bringing a new revelation


1. Thus Jesus was "A Teacher With Authority"...
   a. He taught as one having authority (Grk., exousia:  power, right)
   b. He did signs (miracles) that proved His authority

2. It is tempting to be distracted by the miracles themselves...
   a. But as the people deduced on this occasion, there was new doctrine
   b. So we should focus our attention on what Jesus taught, not on what
      He did

3. Later, Jesus would claim to have "all authority...in heaven and on
   earth"... - Mt 28:18
   a. Then command His apostles to make disciples of all the nations,
      baptizing them - Mt 28:19
   b. And that such disciples should observe all things He has commanded
      - Mt 28:20

4. Later, the apostles would preach Jesus as "Lord"...
   a. Commanding repentance and baptism in His name (by His authority)
      - Ac 2:36-38
   b. That He has the authority to one day judge the world - Ac 10:42;
      17:30-31; 2Co 5:10

Those who gladly accept the authority of Jesus as Lord are baptized (Ac
2:41) and continue steadfastly in His apostles' doctrine (Ac 2:42).

Are we willing to accept Jesus as our Teacher today by submitting to His
authority in the same way...?
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