The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching – and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
In the verses preceding these, we are told that Jesus was teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee about 120 miles north of Jerusalem. He is said by Mark to have taught “as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” Then, a man possessed by an evil spirit cried out during Jesus’ teaching and upon Jesus’ command to “be quiet” and “come out of him,” the evil spirit left.
What do you imagine the teaching of the “teachers of the law” was like in the synagogues during this period of time?
We are not told what Jesus was teaching, but based on what you know of his teaching elsewhere, what do you imagine he said and what was “new” or “unprecedented” about it?
Identify a teaching of Jesus that amazes you and explain why.
Father, thank you for the unprecedented message, authority, and person of Jesus. I don’t ever want to take what you did through Christ for granted, consider it ordinary, or forget his power. Help me to remember where I was without Jesus, what my life looked like before I knew you, so that I am reminded of the miracle of your grace and forgiveness. Forgive me for the times I have denied the power or authority of Christ whether in word or action, conscious or not. I want to live in a state of amazement. Awaken me! Let the unprecedented message of Christ pour out of me, Lord.
Go A Little Deeper:
Review Matthew 7:28-29 and then the teaching that precedes this passage, Matthew 5:1-7:27 (the Sermon on the Mount), to see the teaching that amazed the crowds who heard it.