Showing posts with the label His Authority

His Authority

After defeating Satan, Jesus began proclaiming the “Good News” of the Kingdom in Galilee – “ The season is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel .” The term “Kingdom of God” is a summary statement that meant different things to different people, but the man from Nazareth identified his mission with the glorious “ Son of Man ” figure described in the  Book of Daniel .

Authority over the Sabbath

Religious leaders from Jerusalem began to object to the looseness of Jesus to their Sabbath traditions, but he used the opportunity to show that the “ Son of Man ” is “ Lord ” even over that day. God did cease His creative activities on the seventh day, but its formal establishment as a regulated day on which no work was to be done did not occur until the Torah was given through Moses at Mount Sinai (“ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy ”).

A Tax Collector Summoned

When Jesus pronounced the paralytic’s sins “ forgiven ,” he offended the sensibilities of the scribes and Pharisees, the allies if not representatives of the Temple authorities in Jerusalem. Then he alienated them further by reaching out to “ sinners ” that were considered especially unclean by the more scrupulously religious men and leaders of Israel. The Nazarene summoned ordinary men to follow him, including fishermen and tax collectors. Observing him eating with the latter, his opponents insinuated he must be a notorious sinner.

Discharging Sins

The literary unit in chapters 1 and 2 of the  Gospel of Mark  includes five stories highlighting the authority of Jesus as the “ Son of Man .” It also shows the growing conflicts between him and the religious authorities based in the Jerusalem Temple, especially over issues of ritual purity and Sabbath regulations. There are parallels between the present story and the preceding one about the cleansing of the leper.

Authority over Ritual Purity

The touch of the Nazarene cleansed a leper from ritual impurity, restoring him physically AND religiously. Moreover, Jesus touched the leper BEFORE he was cleansed of his ritual defilement. Any concern over contracting “uncleanness” did not prevent the Messiah from healing a son of Israel. In fact, the Son of Man’s touch drove out the disease and the impurity - (Mark 1:40-45).

Authority Over Disease

Jesus did not allow scruples over purity regulations to keep him from healing the sick and delivering the oppressed from demonic spirits. Neither Sabbath restrictions nor Levitical rules on ritual purity were intended to prevent human needs from being met, at least, not if the Messiah of Israel was present and implementing the Kingdom of God.

Authority Over Satan

Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness by rejecting his temptations and lies. The effects of that victory were demonstrated when he exercised authority over demonic forces in the village of  Capernaum  near the Sea of Galilee. The first incident occurred in the local synagogue, typically, a place where Jews would gather to study the  Torah  and pray.

Authority over Disease

Neither social conventions nor purity regulations prevent Jesus from ministering to the physical needs of men and women  – Mark 1:29-39.  Jesus did not allow scruples over purity regulations keep him from healing the sick and delivering the oppressed from demonic spirits. Neither Sabbath restrictions nor Levitical rules on ritual purity were intended to prevent human needs from being met.

Jesus and the Demoniac

Jesus delivered a demonized Gentile while traveling through hostile territory, demonstrating his vast authority over Satan  – Mark 5:1-20 .  The declaration that Jesus had come to the “ other side of the sea ” links this next story to the preceding incident when he calmed the storm. His plan to crossover the Sea of Galilee set in motion the series of events that followed. Having calmed the storm, he next encountered the demonized man who had a violent “storm” raging within – ( Mark 5:1-20 ).

Authority over Sea and Storm

One day, after teaching the multitude, Jesus set out to cross the Sea of Galilee. But a violent storm descended suddenly, frightening the disciples. Storms were common enough on that body of water, and several of the men were fishermen familiar with its moods. Their terror indicated this was an especially severe storm.

Crowds Press, Demons Confess

The crowds welcomed Jesus because of his miracles, only demons recognized him as the Son of God  -  Mark 3:7-12 .  Mark  describes several incidents that occurred while Jesus was teaching in Capernaum. Eager to see his healing powers, the crowd thronged him to the point it became necessary for him to speak from a boat just off the shoreline. But in the middle of his preaching, demons began to declare that he was the “ Son of God .”