Jesus Proves His Authority. AG Adult Sunday School Manual

 

*Memory Verse: Mark 1:27*

They were all amazed,
insomuch that they
themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him, (KJV).

*Central Truth*

Jesus Christ has authority in heaven and
the Earth.
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*Learning Objectives*

At the end of this lesson,
students will be able to:

1. Appreciate Jesus’ authority to forgive and heal.
2. Explain the significance of Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath to Christians.
3. Submit to Jesus divine authority over their lives.

 

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1. Authority to Forgive Sins
A. Faith Rewarded
Mark 2:1-5
B. Authority Demonstrated
Mark 2:6-12

2. Lord of the Sabbath
A. Questionable Behaviour
Mark 2:23-28
B. Questionable Healing
Mark 3:1-5

3. Authority from Heaven
A. Jesus’ Authority Questioned
Mark 11:27, 28
B. Jesus’ Authority Rejected
Mark 11:29-33
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*Introducing the Lesson*
Have you ever had a problem with a bill? Perhaps you were charged for something you didn’t buy or a payment was incorrectly credited. Though the person you talked to was pleasant and was trying to be helpful, you soon realised that you needed to talk to someone with the authority to fix the
problem. When you spoke to the supervisor or manager, the situation was quickly resolved.

Today’s lesson looks at incidents in the ministry of Jesus that proved His
authority. If we will live in submission to
His lordship, we will find fulfilment and purpose.
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*The Holy Scriptures*

Mark 2:3 – And they come unto him, bringing
one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed
wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak
blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8. And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9. Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and
walk?
10. But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11. I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and
glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

27. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

11:27 – And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and tie elders,

28. And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave
thee this authority to do these things?
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*1. Authority to Forgive Sins*
*A. Faith Rewarded–Mark 2:1-5*

*Questions for Application*
Why was Jesus’ popularity growing. among the people? Because Jesus healed people and cast out demons, He was attracting crowds throughout Galilee
(Mark 1:27,28). Returning to Galilee to what had become His home base (2:1), a crowd gathered, intent on hearing Jesus preach (verse 2). The house was so crowded that no one else could get in, especially a paralytic on a pallet who was being carried by four men (verse 3),
Undeterred by the crowd, they must have taken the stairway up to the roof, a common feature of homes in Jesus’ day. They then removed a section of tiles and lowered the man down on his pallet right in front of Jesus (verse 4). Jesus was the only hope for their paralysed friend; they were doing everything they could to get him to Jesus.
The bold move by the paralytic’s friends might have angered some.
But moved by faith, these men would
not be deterred by the crowd. They were willing to take he steps necessary to get to Jesus so their
paralytic friend could be healed.

*Questions for Application*
What did Jesus see that indicated they all had faith?

Although only the paralytic was coming for healing, Jesus saw “their” faith (verse 5). He saw their extraordinary, single-minded effort to reach Him. This was evidence of faith.
Jesus did not heal the paralytic immediately. Instead, He
pronounced the man forgiven (verse 5). The paralytic probably expected to walk, but Jesus honoured his faith
by forgiving him of his sins, his most
important need. By doing this, Jesus demonstrated His diviníty, for only
God can forgive sins. This point was
not missed by the scribes.
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*B. Authority Demonstrated–Mark 2:6-12*
By forgiving the sins of the paralytic, Jesus demonstrated His
deity. Not only could He heal, He could forgive sins, This caused the religious leaders great surprise. They considered His action blasphemy (Mark 2:6,7).

Although He could have exercised His divine ability to know their hearts, it seems more likely that Jesus discerned what they were thinking because He knew how the religious leaders thought (verse 8)
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*Question for Application*

How did Jesus show He had divine authority?

Jesus’ next question reinforces His claim to be God. Is it easier to heal a paralytic or forgive sins?
Jesus was pointing out that both were humanly impossible. Jesus
had claimed to forgive the man, but that could not be proven. So Jesus healed the man to prove that He could also forgive sins (verses 9,10). His point is that if He can perform one divine act-healing a paralytic, which they could see-then He can
do the other divine act too, which they couldn’t see-forgiving sins.

To further reinforce His claim of deity, Jesus called himself “the Son
of Man” (verse 10, KJV), a messianic title from Daniel 7:13. In verses 13 and 14, the Son of Man is portrayed as a heavenly figure to whom God gives authority, glory, and sovereign power. Jesus’ claim to deity was validated when the paralytic responded to His command and the
man got up and walked (Mark 2:12).

In response, the people “glorified God” (verse 12, KJV), which was an appropriate response to a dramatic healing. What they had seen could not have occurred without divine intervention.

Jesus’ authority to forgive sins and to heal has not changed. The
question is, will we seek Him out in faith to receive the forgiveness and healing we need.
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*2. Lord of the Sabbath*
*A. Questionable Behaviour–Mark 2:23-28*
The Pharisees frequently
criticised Jesus for His attitude toward the Sabbath. Jewish tradition had expanded laws about the Sabbath far beyond what the Scriptures taught. Jewish oral tradition had actually identified thirty-nine categories of work that were forbidden on the Sabbath. According to Deuteronomy 23:25 what the disciples were doing was acceptable; however, it did violate the Jewish traditions for Sabbath keeping and thus angered the Pharisees.

The Pharisees appeared to be watching Jesus and His disciples to see if they could catch them doing something wrong. The Pharisees apparently spent much time and energy watching for Jesus and His disciples to make mistakes. They thought they were doing the right thing, but, actually, they were keeping people away frorn God and reinforcing their own as the spiritually elite.

To defend His discples actions Jesus pointed out that David and his
companions, when they were in need and hungry, ate the showbread, which the aw stated was only to be eaten by the priests (see 1 Samuel 21:1-6: Leviticus 24:5-9). Jesus used that incident to teach the religious leaders an important point about the Sabbath: It was given for man’s benefit, not to
be a burden to him (Mark 2:27).
Jewish tradition had turned the Sabbath into an intolerable burden
of rules to keep. God made it to be a
day of rest to renew people after six days of work and to cause people to recognise God as the One who provides for their needs. As the Son of Man, Jesus asserted His Lordship over the Sabbath (verse 28). He had the authority to declare what was in keeping with the spirit of the Law regarding the Sabbath.
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*Question for Application*
What are some of the struggles believers have in determining what it means to keep the Sabbath?
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Christians often relate Sunday worship to keeping the Sabbath.
Part of the reason for this is that Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, so the Early Church eventually began worshipping on Sundays.
Like the Pharisees, Christians began to.make rules about what was acceptable to do on Sundays.

Some Christians focus so much on keeping the rules of their faith that
their faith loses its joy. Rather than enjoying their salvation and sharing it with others, they criticise those who do not go to church as much as they do, or they look down on those who participate in certain things on Sundays that they don’t or who do not participate in things they believe are important. This critical attitude leads to judging others. Seeking to
preserve the rules, people lose sight
of the true spirit and intent of the Sabbath.

There was debate about how the Sabbath laws applied to New Testament believers (Romans 14). It
seems reasonable that setting aside a day for rest, worship, and mutual encouragement with other believers
should remain a central part of a Christian’s life. But all days should be dedicated to the Lord through holy living and godly service. The way we practise our faith is to allow us to draw closer to God, to please Him, and to encourage others to live for Him.
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*B. Questionable Healing–Mark 3:1-5*
Jesus viewed the Sabbath as a time to meet the needs of others, especially since people already took time to gather for worship. The
synagogue provided an opportunity for ministry and for showing that He
is Lord of the Sabbath.
Unfortunately, the religious leaders.
were there as well, more concerned about keeping the traditions intact
than about the needs of people. They were still defending the “man created for the Sabbath” position.

The Pharisees believed Jesus had the power to heal and perform miracles, for they watched to see if He would. If Jesus healed someone, they could accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath (Mark 3:1,2).

Jesus was aware of the plotting of His enemies and refused to let
them make Him afraid to do what was right. Instead, He would do what was right and challenge others to do the same.

Jesus’ question about doing good on the Sabbath (verse 4) affirmed His teaching that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Jesus explained that doing “good” by healing someone captures the
intended spirit of the Law. Keeping the traditions and ignoring human needs or destroying life by refusing to heal is “evil” and is a misuse of
religion.

The Pharisees’ attitude
angered Jesus, who was “grieved for the hardness of their hearts”
(verse 5, KJV). They were more concerned with the keeping of their
rules than about the welfare of their
fellowman. Jesus’ compassion for
the man remained, and He healed him.

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*3. Authority from Heaven*
*A. Jesus’ Authority Questioned–Mark 11:27,28*
The events in chapters 2 and 3 occurred early in Jesus’ ministry. Mark 11 is about 3 years later during the final week of Jesus’ life. Jesus was in Jerusalem to die and rise again (see 10:32-34 ), in
accordance with God’s plan to provide salvation for the world.

Many had come to believe in Jesus, but not many of the Jewish
religious leaders had. The tension between Jesus and these leaders
had intensified, especially after Jesus had cleansed the temple, driving out the merchants who were
selling their goods in the temple courts (11:15-18). Jesus’ ministry was no longer affecting only obscure villages. He was now in Jerusalem. their religious centre, acting as if He had authority over the temple, Judaism’s most holy site.

In response to Jesus’ actions. the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, dispatched some delegates to investigate Jesus’ activities.
Finding Jesus strolling in the temple courts, they wanted to. know who authorised Him to do the things He was doing (verse 28), particularly going to their temple courts and driving out the merchants.
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*Question for Application*
Were these religious leaders sincere in their attempts to understand who sent and authorised Jesus? Explain.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, many of the religious leaders had
followed Jesus and had challenged Him. Despite all the things they saW
Him do, their hearts remained hard.
So this question was not sincere,- because they were looking for an excuse to kill Him (see verse 18).
Their question was an attempt to discredit Jesus publicly and erode His public support. From what can be gleaned from the Gospels, these
leaders considered Jesus to be a very dangerous man who could destroy their nation and way of life if
He were not dealt with (see John
11:45-53).

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*B. Jesus’ Authority Rejected- Mark 11:29-33*
Sensing their insincerity, Jesus responded to the question from the religious leaders by promising to tell
them about His authority if they first answered His question (Mark 11:29). Jesus’ question put them in a bind by asking in essence, ‘Did God authorise John to baptise people or not?” (verse 30).

These men were stuck in a precarious position. The truthful answer would show them to be wrong (verse 31). The wrong answer would turn the people against them (verse 32). So they chose the safe response: “We cannot tell” (verse 33, KJV). If they were unwilling to answer, neither would Jesus answer.

Another opportunity to access Jesus’ divine authority had passe
These religious leaders reject Jesus’ authority as coming from God and so missed out on what God wanting to do in their lives.

*Question for Application*
In what ways can people today both non-Christians an Christians, reject Jesus authority?

*Call to Discipleship*
Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and the Earth. He has that
authority based not only on who He is, the only begotten Son of God, but
also because He lived in perfect obedience to His Father’s authority. He modelled for us whatit means to live under God’s authority.

When we yield ourselves to Christ’s authority, we will strive to live in
obedience to His teachings that are revealed in the Bible and to listen to the voice of His Spirit. This means making choices every day that are based on His right to tell us what to believe and how to act. As we learn more of His Word and put it into practice, we can better demonstrate His lordship over our lives.

Begin today to learn His Word through establishing a daily time of personal devotions. If you already have done this, assist someone else in getting started.
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*Ministry in Action*
Find some practical ways to minister to others in the name and authority of Christ. Visit a widow or elderly person in a nursing home. Be generous toward someone in need. Visit and pray for someone who is sick. God can
Change someone’s life through your efforts.

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