The way we think of Jesus affects the way we listen to Jesus and how we respond to Jesus. Last Sunday, we continued the sermon series “Six Things Jesus Is…” by thinking about Jesus as The Authority.

In our text from Mark 1, we saw Jesus teaching crowds who were amazed at both his teaching and his ability to command demons. They exclaimed, “What is this? A new teaching… and with authority!”

Authority can be based in tradition, moral leadership, expertise, or power of command. Jesus possesses all four of these. The one that amazed the crowd is the fourth one. In Greek, the word for the power of command is exousia.

Jesus spoke as an authority and, even more, he demonstrated his exousia. He commanded demons to leave… and the demons obeyed. He commanded the weather to calm down and be quiet… and the weather obeyed. Like a commanding officer over all creation, Jesus’ word is obeyed by everything. He even said that he had the power to lay down his life and take it up again. Then he did it. Jesus has exousia over death.

When we see Jesus as an authority, we listen to him differently. We may question our understanding of his teaching, but we don’t question whether he knew what he was talking about. 

What is the core of Jesus’ teaching? Love. Jesus taught that if you love the Lord and love your neighbor as yourself, you are living as God would have you live. So, if you think you ought to do something and something inside of you feels like that thing is not loving, you should stop and check yourself. Jesus said that love is the fulfillment of the law.

He also made sure we understood that the love he is teaching us is love extended to all people in all places. He told his disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13:34–35 (ESV)

How did Jesus love people? Everywhere. At all times. In all places. Even while he was hanging on the cross.

So we follow Jesus as The Authority. If there are competing voices, we listen to him.

Grace and peace to you!

If you'd like to watch the whole sermon, here is a YouTube link of the worship service that will take you directly to the sermon: