Jesus' Divinity and Authority

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Christians explore what our lives would be like if we meditated on Christ's authority. Would we walk around more confident? Would we take more risks or do the impossible for God in our everyday lives? Would we speak more boldly to others, especially about the Gospel of Christ? Would we interact with others without fear? Most likely, we would witness the power of God in our lives without bounds. The Gospel of Mark provides an example of Christ's authority. In particular, Mark 5:1-20 reveals Jesus divinity and authority, during his interaction with the demonic man.

 

The term demon translates to δαίμων which means evil spirit. In Mark 5:7, the demons' declare Jesus as Son of the Most High God. This term describes Jesus' divine origin and nature which does not reflect Christ as the Savior, but rather Christ as the Son of God who embodies the qualities of his Father. This Christological (the nature and person of Jesus) title can be seen during Jesus' temptation by Satan in the desert. In Matthew 4:3, as Satan tempts Jesus, he first questions if Jesus is the Son of God. The term used to taunt Jesus reflects his very nature as the Son of God. In addition, in Acts 16:17, an evil spirit refers to servants of the Most High God before being cast out. Therefore the term, Most High God embodies the characteristics of Jesus. All three incidents reveal that evil spirits or demons recognize Christ's divinity.

 

The exorcism of the demons reveals their subjection to Jesus' authority. In the New Testament, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) denotes demons as angels and instruments of Satan. They remain in complete subjection to Satan as they fight against the kingdom of God. However, Jesus supersedes this subjection as the demons become under his authority during the exorcism. Mark describes the demons' five actions that represent their subjection to Jesus: (1) they bow down before him, (2) they acknowledge him as the Son of the Most High God, (3) they request not to be tormented, (4) they request to remain in the country, and (5) they request to be sent into the swine. The demons last appeal to enter the swine underlines their total submission to Jesus's authority. Jesus accepts their appeal, by his word indicating the power of God. He breaks the power of the Satan's angels as he possesses the dominion of God. Therefore, Jesus' authority defined by the dominion of God forces the demons to submit, which expels them from the man.

 

Mark's narrative of the demon-possessed man remains relevant for today's Christians. Demons believe that God is one and shutter (James 2:19). Therefore, as Christians, the charge is to recognize Jesus' divinity and authority more than the evil ones. We are charged with understanding the dominion of God embodied in His Son. By possessing this understanding, we too will recognize Jesus' divinity and thereby submit to His authority. Meditating on this understanding will assist us in witnessing the power of God in our lives without bounds.