Mark 1:21-34: The Fame of the Name
April 3, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Joshua 6-7, Psalm 74, Mark 1:21-34, 1 Corinthians 2
Jesus’ ministry is marked by a particular distinctive, “authority.” This authority is expressed in his not teaching like “the scribes” (1:22). Whereas the scribes cited human authorities and utilized human tradition in support of their opinions, and generally footnoted their assertions with the typical perambulations necessary for most acceptable religious discourse, Jesus preached differently. His message came with authority. This authority was unique to him. Only Jesus, the God-Man, could teach as a man but also with the authority of God. None other, however great the preacher, can so teach as this Man taught, for the Man who taught was not merely a man.
That said, the “authority” of Jesus’ teaching is to a lesser degree a model for true preachers today. Those who are called to preach are called to preach God’s Word, to determine that message from the Bible as truly God’s Word and to declare it as such—fully aware their message is imperfect, and in a sense bound to have at least components of sinfulness in it, if not fallacies. But nonetheless, it is, when explaining and expositing the Bible, not merely the word of man. When preached with authority, God’s Word has dynamic impact. Evil spirits are sent packing! The Word of God delivered by the man of God does the work of God.
Jesus’ healing ministry continues (1:29-34) and becomes so popular that the “whole city” gathered at the door where he was. As before, he would not permit the demons to speak. A demonic witness, even to the true identity of Jesus, was not a credible witness—in the same way that a thief as a witness to someone’s reliability is not a witness worth having. Their attestation of Jesus’ identity was undermining to that identity. But still his fame spread everywhere.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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