[Lesson 69: Jesus' Authority] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 71: Two Important Parables]

Lesson 70

Jesus' Power

Mark 4-6; Matthew 9,10

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

In our last program, we saw that the religious rulers of the Jews sought to destroy Jesus because He said that God was His Father, thus claiming to be equal with God. A great crowd followed the Lord Jesus wherever He went. Among the crowd were some who believed the words of Jesus and others who did not believe Him. Jesus chose twelve apostles (or messengers) from among those who believed Him, so that He might be with them, teach them and send them out to proclaim the Good News of salvation.

The twelve apostles whom Jesus chose were named Simon who was also called Peter, and Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and his younger brother John-those four were fishermen. The other apostles were Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who would betray Him. (See Matt. 10:2-4) Those were the twelve disciples who accompanied Jesus. Several women also followed Jesus everywhere He went: Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus had driven out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza and the manager of Herod's household; Susanna and other women. These women helped to support Jesus out of their own means. (See Luke 8:2,3)

As we have already seen, the people were amazed at the teaching of the Lord Jesus, because He taught them with an authority which their religious teachers did not have. The authority of Jesus was not limited to mere words, but was proven by His mighty works. For the Scripture says: "The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." (1 Cor. 4:20) In today's lesson we will see how the Lord Jesus possessed power and authority over every creature and every force on earth.

We begin our reading in the Gospel of Mark, chapter four. The Scripture says:

(Mark 4) 35That day when evening came, [Jesus] said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

(Mark 5) 1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" 9Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man-and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Ten Cities how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

21When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake. 22Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." 24So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" 31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?'" 32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher anymore?" 36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe." 37He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." 40But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). 42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

(Matt. 9) 27As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" 28When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord," they replied. 29Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you"; 30and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, "See that no one knows about this." 31But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.

32While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." 34But the Pharisees said, "It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons."

(Mark 6) 1Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offence at him. 4Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith.

Then Jesus went round teaching from village to village. 7Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. 8These were his instructions: (Matt. 10) 16"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 34Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' 37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me… 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Amen.

Thus, we have seen today that the Lord Jesus was filled with the power of God both in His words and in His works. The multitudes that followed Him were amazed, saying, "Where did this man get these things? What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!" (Mark 6:2)

From where did Jesus get His power and wisdom? He didn't "get it" from anywhere, because He Himself is the Power and Wisdom of God. The Lord Jesus did all the mighty works of God upon the earth, to show people where He came from and who He was. He had authority over every created being and every kind of power because He was the "Ruh Allah" and the "Kalimat Allah" {Arabic}, that is: He is the Spirit of God and the Word of God. That is why Jesus could calm the furious storm and heal the wild, demon-possessed man by simply speaking a word. All of God's unlimited power resided in the Lord Jesus. That is the reason He could heal the woman who had suffered with bleeding for twelve years. This woman had wasted all her money on many doctors and their medicines, but the moment she touched Jesus' cloak she was healed. Similarly, when Jesus touched the eyes of the two blind men immediately their sight was restored. And Jesus' authority was not limited to those who were alive. He also had authority over the dead! That is why He could bring back to life the child who had died. Jesus' power surpassed that of a mere prophet, because He Himself was the Word of God in a human body.

Yes, God's Word tells us that all power and all authority have been given to Jesus the Messiah. That is why if you trust in Jesus as your Savior and your Lord, you will no longer need to fear anything: not death, not life, not evil spirits, not sorcerers, not the present, nor the future! You will no longer need to wear charms or pour out an offering to a personal protector spirit because the Lord Jesus will protect you. That is what the Scripture says: "In [Jesus] Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority!" (Col. 2:9,10)

Dear friends, are you trusting in the One who is "who is the head over every power and authority"? Or are you still trying to appease the lesser powers and authorities of this world?

Thank you for listening. In the next study, Lord willing, we will continue in the Gospel and hear how Jesus taught the multitudes with parables.…

May God bless you and teach you the deep meaning of what He has declared concerning the Messiah:

"In [Jesus] Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form!" (Col. 2:9,10)