Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Scripture Song-Isaiah 51-11
Read the “1017 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“(21) And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. (22) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:21-22)
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)
In our Scripture passage this morning we see Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. Verse 22 tells us that He spoke “as one that had authority,” and then the passage adds that his teaching was unlike the scribes. The word for authority in this particular verse is ἐξουσίαν (from ἐξουσία – exousia), which meant in this case that Jesus had the right or jurisdiction to preach and teach the word of God. The same word is used in Matthew 28:18, where it is translated into the English word, “power:”
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18)
The interesting thing here is that the scribes were the one who were actually granted authority and recognized by men within the synagogue. Jesus had no formal training. The scribes would have been educated under recognized teachers, and no doubt had their degrees and other credentials. Jesus had none of those things, but He had the full power (δύναμις – dynamis, meaning might or strength – like dynamite), and authority of God because He was (and is) God. The people within the synagogue could easily perceive the difference between the man-made authority of the scribes, and the God-given authority and power of Jesus.
Charles Clark Jr. is a man with no formal education who was called by God to start a church from scratch in Berlin, NJ. He began forty years ago with just his family and a small group of other people in a rented Methodist Church building. Today, Solid Rock Baptist Church numbers well over a thousand and meets in a large and beautiful facility. There have been thousands of people saved through the years, and countless lives impacted through the Bible teaching of Pastor Clark and the other men and women who were raised up and trained through his ministry. Yet, in the eyes of the world, Pastor Clark has no authority. He has no college degree or credentials that the world considers important. But one thing Pastor Clark has is God. He has diligently studied the Bible and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and God has used him in amazing ways.
I am not minimizing the importance of education. I believe that every preacher or Bible teacher should get as much formal training as he possibly can, but the only authority that really matters as far as eternity is concerned is the authority given by God.
Christian, you have been commissioned with Jesus’ authority to take the gospel to the lost world around you. He has empowered you and authorized you to take the Word of God and preach and teach it to a world that is totally ignorant of the Truth. You have power and you have authority. Don’t be intimidated and silenced by those out there who may have more formal education than you. You have God within you and the Bible in your hand. Be bold as a lion and teach with God’s authority.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.