Jesus’ Authority – part 1 (Mark 1:16-20)

Continuing in Mark’s Gospel (last week we studied the flow of the story from chapter 6 through 11), over the next three days we’ll be reading five stories about Jesus (and alluding to a sixth, in chapter 2). They’re not long, so have a read of all six now. (Mark 1:16-2:11.)

You probably noticed that all six tories have the same basic point. Mark has placed them in a cluster so that as readers we don’t miss the point. Although they start from different angles, each story ultimately shows how Jesus has authority.

Yet too often, when it comes to gospel stories, we miss the main point. We instantly cast ourselves in the stories. Either as Jesus, or one of the other characters. To discover some lesson about how we should live.

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Jesus’ Authority – Part 2 (Mark 1:21-28)

Continuing in Mark’s Gospel, we’re looking at five stories in chapter 1, all with the same basic point.  Although they start from different angles, each story ultimately shows how Jesus has authority. We saw yesterday how Jesus has authority over people – to call them to discipleship and ministry. We now look at two other ways in which Jesus has authority.

Authority in teaching

1:21-22 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and [Gk: immediately] began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

In Jesus’ day, the laypeople – particularly the literate laypeople – led people in worship in the synagogues. This was before ordained Rabbis started to be the norm a few centuries later. A certain class of laypeople had arisen: the Scribes, who had particular expertise in the scriptures.

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