Authority (Mark 1:22)

They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as [one] having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 1:22

I often find it fascinating that the people of Jesus’ time were not so much awed by the miracles as by His teaching. I do not think for a moment that the miracles He performed went unnoticed — this same chapter includes several flavors of miracles, including one that prevented Jesus from going into cities and towns because of the crowds. I do, however, think that it was His teaching that was unique. Israel had prophets who performed miracles. In fact, many of the miracles that Jesus performed had analogs in the OT. Elijah multiplied food and raised someone from the dead. Elisha multiplied food and cleansed a leper and raised someone from the dead. Miracles were nothing new to the Israelites. They had a long history with them.

But teaching with authority? That was new. To say with certainty that a thing was so was different. The teachers of the time constantly pointed back at the person who taught them and that person pointed back and on and on in a continuous line back to someone with actual authority. Jesus did no such thing. He simply spoke the Word of God and let its authority be its authority.

The same is true today. There are many “teachers” in the world. Scientists point back to other scientists and philosophers point back to other philosophers and everyone seems to be pointing back to a long line of other people going back into antiquity. It is difficult, if not impossible, to see the front of that line. It makes one wonder where the authority comes from. But the Word of God is not so. The Word of God points straight to God and says, “He is the Authority. There is no other before and no other need come after.”

When I stand on the Word of God, I, too, can speak with authority, because I will be speaking the same things that Jesus spoke — the Word of God. I need not worry about the lineage of my assertions — The Bible comes straight from the mouth of God. I need not justify what is said — God is sufficient justification for His own words. Let me, as did my Master, speak the Word of God. Let me not try to justify it, but let it stand on its own. It needs no justification from me.

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