The Authority of Jesus

Getting Started

As we begin our study today, Jesus has begun his public ministry and is going full force. Today’s passage zooms in on the topic of authority, namely the authority that Jesus had while on earth. Here we see multiple examples of response to the person and authority of Jesus.

  • Who is in authority over your life? What is the extent of their authority, and how did they get that authority?

Read The Word:  Mark 1:16-28 (ESV)

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

 21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.

Digging Deeper

  1. What was the disciples’ response to Jesus’ call? What did they leave behind?
  2. In verse 17, Jesus told Simon and Andrew, “I will make you… fishers of men.” This echoes Jeremiah 16:15-17 when fishers of men would call people back from their idols to God. What idols exist in your life that may keep you from fully giving yourself over to the call of God? What, if anything, are you being called to leave behind as you follow God or obey his call?
  3. What word describes the people’s response to Jesus’ teaching in verse 22? What was their response to the healing in verse 27? What is common between the two responses?
  4. The people were amazed at what Jesus had done, but they did not understand yet who he was. What can you do to get to know Jesus better? If you have known him for a while, how can you overcome any apathetic feelings toward him?

Respond to God

Life can be full of fear and anxiety which come from the stresses of this world. When we are struggling with these feelings, we can find comfort in the reminder of this passage—that Jesus, the one who has all authority in the universe, is with us. Nothing in this world deserves our devotion and affections like Jesus. When we feel the call of God in our heart or face struggles in life, we can turn to him and trust in his love and power. We will struggle, miss the mark, and often fail. However, we can always find comfort in the fact that we worship a God who does not. His love and presence is consistent and unfailing.

Once the disciples dropped their nets and followed Christ, their identity rested solely in the person of Jesus. We have been called out of our normal, routine lives to something more: a life directed by the One who gave us breath. Think on these things as you face today.

  • Spend time reflecting on the power and authority in the call of God.
  • Thank him for placing a specific call on your life and ask for the courage to give yourself to that call without hesitation or worry.
  • Ask God to show you areas of your life where you have not been obedient and to change your attitude toward those things.