“But Jesus rebuked him (the unclean spirit) saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” Mark 1:28 (ESV)
Authority. A man with an unclean spirit challenged Jesus as He was teaching in Capernaum. Jesus commanded the spirit to be quiet and to come out. Who can rebuke a spirit? Only one whose spirit has more power and more authority.
Early on Jesus’ followers recognized His power. There was no doubt that Jesus had power. Satan and his demon helpers, and the unclean spirits that worship him, also had power. It was evident then, and it is evident today as well. It is no secret that Satan has power. However, Satan has NO authority. Jesus has both an all surpassing power and all-encompassing authority.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, WHO IS THE HEAD OF ALL RULE AND AUTHORITY. Colossians 2:6-10 (ESV)
On that eventful day in Capernaum, some followers reacted in anger toward Jesus, others with fear. Some realized that Jesus’ power and authority could not be equaled. During Jesus’ ministry, some demons cried out in fear, some evil spirits were angered, but all submitted. The evil forces of this world know who Jesus is, and they recognize his power and authority will overcome them every time.
We see the contrast between power and authority today as well. Older siblings sometimes hold the power in the ‘pecking order’, but the cry “MOMMY” soon reveals who has the authority. Bullies on playgrounds have power but no authority and the bigger bully who comes along will make him tow the line. In the current situation in our nation, some people in power have taken actions for which they do not have the authority.
The authority of God is a blessing to the righteous and a curse to those who love evil. His authority is an expression of his love and God never makes a mistake. His authority is perfect and he is inclined to use his power for those who love and follow him. Remember. When difficult times come, the One with the authority has promised to be at our side, and on our side. Rejoice and rest in His authority.
Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help! Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!”
Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
Psalm 35: 1-3; 27-28 (ESV)