As you come to his Word today, focus your mind on God’s greatness and your place as his beloved child and friend.
Read Mark 1:21-28
 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and 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.  Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out,  “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!”  “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!”  The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.  The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching-and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”  News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat impression did Jesus make on the people watching?
In these verses we begin to build the picture of Jesus. We’ve already seen him act as Rabbi, calling disciples to follow him. Here he continues, turning up in the synagogue on the Sabbath to teach. But Jesus is no ordinary teacher. People are struck by his authority, so different from the other teachers (22). Mark makes it clear, though, that Jesus is not simply a great teacher; this dramatic encounter between an evil spirit who knows Jesus’ true identity, and Jesus who silences and expels it, demonstrates Jesus’ authority on a whole new level. Again, this is about Jesus’ identity. He is the Messiah, the Son of God. His words are authoritative, but his actions speak louder. What voices hold the most authority for you? Who do you always listen to? We can often absorb the messages of media and culture without realizing, and find ourselves submitting to their instruction. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can filter out the many competing voices and listen to Jesus’ voice, the true voice of authority.
What “authorities” compete for your submission? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you submit again to Jesus the Lord.
Lord, give me ears to clearly hear Your voice and a heart to willingly follow it. May You be my true authority in life.
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