And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:22)
This text follows on the heels of Jesus calling his first disciples. It takes place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee near the city of Capernaum. Capernaum was at the intersection of several trade routes which made it an ideal base for carrying the gospel into the regions of Galilee and beyond.
The sense of urgency is expressed by Mark in that Jesus “immediately” entered the synagogue to teach. Jesus’ teaching was very powerful, with “authority.” The Greek word for “authority” means to have the ability/power to do something. Jesus spoke with a direct line to his Father. He spoke God’s Word, not like the scribes who appealed to human authority. The word “authority” is used throughout Mark’s Gospel in the context of Jesus’ miracles and his conflict with the demons.
We, too, can teach with authority when we faithfully teach the pure truths of the Word. It is not our teaching but the Word that will do its work. We are assured about this in Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. It cuts through the sinful self and brings repentance. The Word also soothes and empowers the weary soul.
We can teach with authority when we diligently prepare by asking the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. It is also good that when we begin our class instruction that we orally say a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide the learning process.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us your powerful and comforting Word. Thank you for bringing us to be your valued child. Help us to use your Word daily. Help us when we teach your Word to become equipped by it and to be a blessing with those with whom we share it. Amen