Radical Forgiveness

Jesus offers radical forgiveness in impossible situations to improbable people.
Read: Mark 1:40-45 (Jesus Heals a Leper)
Read: Mark 2:1-12 (Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man)
Jesus’ radical forgiveness only offends those who haven’t truly experienced it themselves.

Jesus offers radical forgiveness in impossible situations to improbable people.

Read: Mark 2:13-14 (Jesus Calls Matthew to Follow Him)
Jesus invites unlikely people to follow him into unlimited potential.
Read: Mark 2:15-17 (Jesus Eats with Sinners)
Jesus puts Good News within reach of those broken by sin to offer them spiritual healing.


The Authority of Jesus

Jesus deserves absolute authority over all of my life.

Mark 1:21-22 — Jesus’ Authority in Teaching.

The people were amazed at his teaching. They immediately saw a contrast between the teachings of Jesus and those of “the scribes.” Jesus taught with passion and power. Mark doesn’t tell us what Jesus taught but it was more than likely a message of Good News.
Jesus’ authority derives from the Spirit of God, who came on him at the baptism. The crowds detect that one is in their midst who speaks for God and not simply about God, as the scribes do.
Your faith is not based on powerless moral teaching. It is based on the very person and power of Jesus, the Son of God. The Holy Spirit continues to be that powerful teacher within us as we read the Bible and listen for His leading. See John 14:25-26; John 16:12-13. Do you regularly submit to the authority of Christ’s teaching? Do you yield to the authority of the Holy Spirit?

Mark 1:23-28 — Jesus’ Authority Over Demons.

How often had that man gone to synagogue and the teaching was powerless to set him free? Could it be that the Law was powerless to release this man from the demonic power? But this day, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and Power, taught the Gospel message — a message about the kingdom of God and the power of God to set men free.
Jesus didn’t come destroy demons. He came to destroy the power of sin and evil through his death and resurrection. Through this act of sacrifice, redemption, and salvation he would completely triumph over the power of hell. See Revelation 1:18; Hebrews 2:14-15. When Jesus commanded, the demon obeyed. Demons are expelled, and broken people are made whole. This is God’s kingdom. This is what the great King can do. This is why He should have absolute authority in your life, my life, and every life.

Mark 1:29-34 — Jesus’ Authority Over Sickness.

Peter’s mother-in-law proves that she has fully recovered by waiting on them, a sign of her physical wholeness and her spiritual responsiveness to Jesus. This miracle reveals that God heals so that one may better serve. Serving is also a characteristic of discipleship, which Jesus tries to get across with some difficulty to his disciples.

Jesus was going to show himself to be the suffering Servant before he became the great King. It is a recurring theme in Mark’s Gospel for Jesus to conceal his true identity. To reveal himself as the Messiah and King too soon would stir up the crowds with the wrong expectations of what he had come to do. To serve the needs of others was never beneath Jesus, the One who had ultimate authority over others. See Mark 10:43-45.

Mark 1:35 — The Key to Jesus’ Authority.

During his ministry on earth, Jesus was in constant prayer with the Father. This shows us the key to Jesus’ authority. Even though He was the Son of God, He still wanted and needed those times of intimate fellowship with the Father that only comes through prayer.
We must follow Christ’s example by carving out time for worship and prayer. We, too, should pray for strength to fulfill Christ’s mission. See John 14:10-12.

Mark 1:36-39 — Jesus Refuses to Misuse His Authority.

Like so many today, they wanted a Jesus of their liking, a Jesus who would perform miracles and fit into their agenda. He knew the multitudes were pressing to the door looking for healing, not for truth. His primary mission was to bring people to a place of decision to have faith in God, not merely to remove their pain. Yes, Jesus was a healer of men’s bodies. But that was only temporal part of his work. He was the Savior of men’s souls — an eternal work. He was not going to misuse his authority for a lesser mission. We, too, have authority for Christ’s mission. Do we misuse it for our own selfish purposes? See Matthew 28:18-20.