The Ministry of Jesus (02): Kingdom Authority - Mark 1:21-28

Date: 1/31/2021
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Bible Mark
Organization: All Saints
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The Ministry of Jesus (02): Kingdom Authority - Mark 1:21-28

Mark 1:21 - 28: Then they went to Capernum and straight way on the Sabbath came into the Synagogue and begin teaching. 22 And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as having authority and not according to the traditions of the lawyers of Torah. 23 And just at that time a man was in the Synagogue with an unclean spirit screamed: 24“You nothing to do with us Jesus of Nazareth! You come to destroy us? I know you are the holy one of God.” 25 And Jesus rebuked the spirit: “Silence! Leave him!” 26 Throwing the man in to writhing convulsions, screaming, the unclean spirit left him. 27 They were amazed, asking, “What is this new teaching with authority? He commands even unclean spirits and they obey him!” 28 Quickly the report spread to the whole region of Galilee (G. Strawbridge trans.)

[The context (synagogue) (v 21)]
   Hearers of His teaching were amazed (ekplesso, v 22)
       Amazing word-power in exorcism (vv 23-27)
   Viewers of His power were amazed (thambeo, v 27)
[The context (news spread) (v 28)]

Kingdom Actions - Previously in Mark we are told of the start of Jesus’ ministry in His declaration, “the kingdom of God is at hand” (1:15). The kingdom “involves the deliverance from demonic forces . . . [thus] the kingdom (or reign) of God is God’s power (authority) in action” (Hurtado, UBC). Mark gives fast-moving kingdom-coming activity. Before we finish the first chapter, Jesus is baptized, victorious against Satan, preaching the kingdom, calling the disciples, casting out demons, healing Peter’s mother-n-law, healing those with various diseases, and especially a leper.

Kingdom Authority - An important action of Jesus is His teaching “with authority.” In Mark, His teaching is referenced about 15 times and Jesus is called a teacher about 12 times. Jesus was authoritative in both word and deed. At the center of this passage is casting out of an unclean spirit ((pneuma akatharton), a demon. In contrast to Jewish and pagan attempts(?) at exorcism (e.g., Testament of Solomon, The Greek Magical Papyri), “Jesus needed no magical formulas to exorcise the demon” (Wessle, EBC). The demon asserts the very purpose and title of Jesus: “to destroy us … the Holy One of God!” (1:24). This first authoritative expulsion is to “indicate the eschatological character of Jesus’ action in defeating the Satanic forces” (Guelich, WBC). Indeed, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1Jn. 3:8; also Mt. 12:29, ). He came to disarm “the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col. 2:15).

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more