21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “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!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 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.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
Jesus begins his ministry by doing two things: teaching and healing. Throughout the gospels these two things come up again and again. Yet He teaches differently to all those who had come before—He teaches with authority. The word authority, has clear ties with the word author. There are three things that give Jesus authority:
- His strong connection with His Father—Jesus had just spent 40 days in the desert with no one to sustain Him but His Father. We see later in the chapter that He takes quiet time to ensure that his connection remains strong, that He stays in touch with God’s heart and mission.
- His lack of hypocrisy—He taught, not as the teachers of the law. It is hard to sell something you are not showing yourself. The teachers of the law seemed to be caught up in their positions and prestige. Jesus had no pretence. He spoke the undiluted truth, with conviction and it resonated with those who heard it.
- His ownership of His mission—Jesus had a clear sense of purpose/goals that he was striving to achieve. He had just been tested in the desert, been claimed by His Father and now had a limited time to achieve His set purpose.
How can we have authority? We must stay connected to God, in touch with His heart and mission. We must live out what we believe. I know that often, I don’t act in a way that reflects my belief. If Jesus was in the room, would you say that, do that or watch that? Jesus didn’t preach on Sabbath something different to what He lived every day. And Jesus had a clear goal—“To seek and save the lost.”
Jesus was God but He was also human! He spoke with authority, out of His humanity. And he was able to speak into someone’s life with healing and with power over demons!
Father, I pray that you show me your plan for my life today. Show me who I can influence today, and how I can speak into the problems in my own life and the lives of others with authority. Help me to have a heart for mission like yours. Amen.