The One With Power and Authority
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What kind of Jesus do you worship? That might sound like a strange question, but it’s essential, especially in today’s culture. Many people like the sound of Jesus and would even say they believe in Jesus—but do they believe in the Jesus of the Bible or a man-made version of Him? The Enlightenment thinkers would tell us to reject any authority unless it aligns with our personal reason. This subjective reasoning has led people to reject God's supernatural miracles and question anything outside of reason. Skepticism replaced faith.
In Mark 1:23-27, we see Jesus operating in His full authority over the demonic. We read that, while Jesus was teaching, a demon-possessed man shouted, “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (v. 24 NLT).
Imagine if this happened in one of our churches today while the pastor was preaching. In many cases, the person would simply be removed for causing a disturbance, but Jesus wasn’t fazed or uncomfortable. He didn’t try to explain it away or dismiss it. He did what the Son of Man would do. He took authority over it and told it to be quiet.
But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him (v. 25-26).
The demons knew who Jesus was. They knew His authority and that He had come to expose them. They were, and are, afraid of Jesus’ power. Demons will try to deceive people into thinking they have more authority than Jesus. This is why many people in our culture are fascinated with the spiritual realm. But are they more powerful? No! Demons recognize the power and authority of Jesus more than people. They try to keep us blind to it and to worship a Jesus that is good but not powerful. Like the people in the crowd that day, we, too, need to be reminded of the authority and power of Jesus. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
It’s easy to look at these verses and get so focused on the unclean spirit that we miss the man whom he inhabited. What happened to him? He was healed. He was set free.
We need to break out of our skeptical mindsets and recognize that many people today, both inside and outside of the church, are controlled or under a high degree of influence from the demonic. Jesus’ power to deliver and heal is available today. Jesus wants to set people free. The amazing thing about how He accomplishes this is that He chooses to use us!
In Luke 10:19, Jesus gave authority to the His disciples over the demonic when He said,
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”
Jesus' last words to His disciples before leaving this earth were a reminder that He has authority over everything and that they are to go in that same authority (Matthew 28:18).
So, what kind of Jesus do you worship? What kind of Jesus do you serve? Is He King of Kings and Lord of Lords with authority and power over every demon? If so, are you living your life in light of this truth that He has given you His authority? This is why you can live without fear of Satan and His schemes and participate with God in bringing His kingdom here on earth. One of the greatest acts of compassion is to deliver a suffering person from the torment of the demonic. This is the will and desire of God to set captives free (Luke 4:18).
Let’s walk in the authority that Jesus gave us as His disciples and pray for the oppressed, commanding the demonic to leave in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Jesus we worship and serve.
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge Your authority over every power in Heaven and on Earth. You are Lord over all. Thank You for giving me Your authority as Your dearly loved child. Help me to walk in that authority and not be afraid or unaware of the work of Satan. I want to obey Your commands to see captives set free. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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