His Authority and Ours
Sovereign and Powerful God, remind me today that all authority is in Your hand. I willingly submit to You.
Read Mark 1:21-28
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.
“Warfare prayer . . . opens the way for the blessings of the kingdom of God to come to earth” (C. Peter Wagner).
“They went to Capernaum, and … Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach” (21). Who is “they”? The four disciples with Jesus, presumably. Telling the story, Peter will have said, “We went to Capernaum,” making it plain that what follows is eye-witness testimony.
What impressed itself on the disciples no less than the synagogue congregation was the authority of Jesus (22,27), both in what he said and what he did. When he spoke he did not speak about God, he spoke directly from God, like the prophets of old. Confronted with a man “who was possessed by an evil spirit,” he commanded the evil spirit to leave and set the man free (See also Acts 10:38). It caused amazement (Mark uses two strong words for this (vs. 22,27), but amazement is not faith. Wonder soon turned to unease and unease to opposition as the gospel of the kingdom threatened vested interests and long-held beliefs. The liberation of this demonized man may be seen as a sign of the kingdom’s gracious character and its imminent arrival, but in itself it was little more than a preliminary skirmish. Sterner tests lay ahead and Jesus would have to offer up his life on the cross before the power of Satan could be broken.
In the Western world we do not expect to encounter demons or be persecuted for our faith, although both can happen. We are not “on the front line,” so to speak, but we are linked by prayer with those who are, and we know that whatever we may be called to face, today or in the future, we can do everything through him who gives us strength. (Phil. 4:13). That is the message of this story.
Who is on the “front line” that you can pray for regularly? What are you facing that requires God’s gift of strength?
Lord, I praise You that Jesus has defeated the world, the flesh, and the devil. Enable me to walk in that victory today.
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