Note: This Post is part of the series “Studies in Mark” see the Series Index for other posts in this series.
21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.–Mark 1:21 – 28 (ESV)
OK. Last time we talked about Jesus authority in teaching, now we’ll see what happens when we as Bible teachers teach like the Word is authoritative and not just some old book.
v.23 says, “And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit…” and so on. I don’t want you to get the idea that you’re going to be casting out spirits here. Think about this for a minute because the focus of the passage isn’t on the teacher but the result. The word of God works in people to do that which God purposed it to do. Jesus taught with the authority of the Word of God and the evil spirit couldn’t stand it. A man’s life was changed because he heard the word of God taught with authority. Look at what happens after the spirit left the man v.27: “And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority!…” Notice it was new to the Jews, but to us, its that glorious old story, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “I heard an old, old story…” the hymn goes, “bout a Savior came from glory!” praise God. (Can I say that and still hold to a reformed theology? I didn’t raise my hands, honest.)
Deservedly so we see in v.28 that ‘his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee’. It may have been his ejection of the unclean spirit that drove his fame, but I want you to remember something. It’s important. It was the authority of his teaching that was at the root of it all. And that was the word of God.