Authority and Power.
Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37
“Jesus cut him short. ‘Be quiet! Come out of the man,’ he ordered. At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.” – Mark 1:25-26 NLT
When Jesus entered into the world in human form, it was like light penetrating the darkness. His presence would prove to be a shock to the collective system. The status quo was disrupted and the spiritual atmosphere was altered in a major way. As Jesus began His public ministry, there was a spiritual war that was taking place behind the scenes. We saw in His temptation by Satan in the wilderness, that the powers of hell were aligned against Him. We saw after His birth, that spiritually dark forces even tried to eliminate Him through the mass execution of all the baby boys, a sinister plan instigated by Herod. Now we see Jesus stepping into the synagogue in Capernaum, and immediately being confronted by a demon-possessed man. Here was this man, perhaps a regular attendee of the synagogue, suddenly confronted with the presence of the Son of God, the Messiah. The evil spirit that possessed him knew instantly who Jesus was. He began shouting at Jesus, “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24 NLT). This demon knew that Jesus was not going to allow him to have free reign in this man’s life any longer. He also knew that because of who Jesus was, He was not going to tolerate the rule and reign of Satan in this world. He had come to bring release to those in captivity. He had come to bring sight to the blind and freedom to those being oppressed. He was penetrating the spiritual darkness with His presence and power.
As the Holy One of God, He had authority given to Him by His Father, to speak on His behalf. Jesus authority was going to become an ongoing point of debate and contention between He and the religious leaders. They would question His authority regularly. They would doubt His God-given right to rule and reign. But that day in the synagogue, that solitary demon had not doubts about the authority and power of Jesus Christ. When Jesus spoke, the demon listened, and obeyed. The people who witnessed this event were shocked and amazed by what they had seen. They were probably not surprised at the presence of a demon-possessed man in their midst. Because of the spiritual darkness in which they lived at the time, demon possession was probably a regular and fairly typical occurrence. But what amazed them was Jesus. “Amazed, the people exclaimed, ‘What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even the spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!'” (Luke 4:36 NLT). Jesus was like no one they had ever seen before. He had a power like nothing they had ever witnessed before. He spoke and the demons obeyed. He didn’t just talk a good game, He brought change. He had the power to make a difference. Jesus was not going to leave the world the same in which He found it when He came. He was a game-changer, who was about to shift the balance of spiritual power in a new and much-needed direction. And He is still doing the same thing today. His word has power. He speaks with authority. He penetrates the darkness in our lives. He changes things. He disrupts our comfortable worlds. He wages spiritual war with the enemy. And He makes a difference in the lives of every one He touches.
Father, thank You for the authority and power You gave to Your Son that has made forgiveness possible, grace available, and eternal life attainable. Help me to recognize His power and to never cease to be amazed by it. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men