Bible Study Lessons

Jesus’ Authority


Every boy in the neighborhood quickly learned to do whatever Damien and Jack wanted done. If they called a strike in one of the games at the corner lot, no one questioned them - even if they were clearly wrong. It wasn't worth giving them an opportunity to prove who was in charge. One day Jack was declaring that his team's batter wasn't out. Damien quickly added that the fielder on the other team had crossed an invisible line that made the catch illegal. None of the boys had heard that rule before, but they simply got back into position when suddenly a strange voice said, "You playing baseball?" The stranger's voice wasn't gruff or particularly loud, but it was amazing to see all of the boys look at him - even Damien and Jack. "Yes, sir." Jack's voice had an entirely different quality this time. "That play was good." "Okay." It was Damien - and some of the younger boys glanced at him in amazement before dropping their eyes when he glared at them. As long as the stranger stayed, his approval was sought, and his calls were accepted. That night some of the boys got together and talked about the strange occurrences. "Who was he?" "Even Damien and Jack had to listen to him!" "Yeah, but he wasn't mean like they are when they make people obey them." "He just made you want to obey because he was there." In a little way that's what the people around Jesus must have felt like when He taught. He didn't teach like their self-serving spiritual leaders. He had real authority - even the demons obeyed Him. Wonder with the people of His day about Jesus' authority as you study Mark 1:21-28.



Humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him to give you wisdom so that you can understand His Word and see how He wants you to live because of the truths you will see in it.

Read Focus Verses

Read Mark 1:21-28 and notice what everyone is saying about Jesus in these verses.


What about Jesus so surprised people that they were all talking about it in today's passage?

Keyword - Jesus Christ

Marking Jesus' Name will help you remember it's all about Him.

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Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Mark each time Jesus is named or mentioned in Mark 1:21-28.

Keyword - Authority

Mark the word authority to remember it is the key to understanding these verses.



Mark the word authority both times it appears in Mark 1:21-28.


What city is the setting for these verses and where do they happen in that city according to verse 21?


What day is it?


Who else is there?


What did Jesus do in verse 22?


What does the man with the unclean spirit declare about Jesus?

Jesus Responds

What does Jesus do in verse 25?


What happens in verse 26 in response to Jesus' command?


What was the reaction of everyone else in the synagogue according to verse 27? Why does it say they responded this way?


What does verse 28 tell us was the result of this encounter?


Just Before

In Luke 4:14-30 we read what happens between the previous story recorded in Mark and what happened in today's passage.


This story is set in the city of Capernaum. Can you find it on the map? Notice where it is in comparison to city Jesus grew up in - Nazareth.

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Synagogues were places of Jewish worship where the Old Testament law was read and prayer was made. As we'll see as we continue our study in Mark, Jesus was often in them as Matthew 4:23 shows.

His Habit

Luke 4:16 tells us that going to the synagogue on the Sabbath - Saturday - was Jesus' habit.


In the book of Acts, we see that Paul followed this pattern. Acts 17:1-3 gives us a glimpse of this.

The Story

Luke 7:1-10 tells us the story of the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus is in today's passage.


What do we know about the person who built this synagogue?

The Kingdom of God

In Matthew 9:35 we discover what the main theme of Jesus' teaching was.

In Capernaum

John 6:35-40 tells us some of the things Jesus said in this same Synagogue later in His ministry.


Jesus often taught using parables. Matthew 13:24-33 gives us a few examples.


What are some of the things Jesus taught when He was on earth?


Today's passage compares Jesus' teaching to the teaching of the scribes. This isn't the only time we'll run into them in the Gospel of Mark. The scribes were scholars who were supposed to teach the Law of God. In Jesus' day, they taught a lot of their own laws instead and rejected Jesus Christ. You can learn more about them in this article.

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Unclean Spirit

The parallel account (telling us a different perspective on the same story) of today's passage found in Luke 4:31-37 gives us a little more information on the unclean spirit that was possessing the man in today's passage.


What was possessing the man in today's passage?

Why Here?

Each of the Gospel accounts only tells a few of the stories from Jesus' life. Why does Mark tell this story about Jesus casting out a demon in this section that emphasizes His authority? How does this miracle highlight Jesus' authority?


The demon calls Jesus the Holy One. Isaiah 40:25-31 tells us about the Holy One.

Holy One

Isaiah 49:6-8 also uses that title to speak of Christ.

I Am

His identity as the Holy One is also clear in Hosea 11:9.


Acts 2:22-32 confirms that this is Jesus' identity.

Jesus Christ

What do these verses together with today's passage (and others that there isn't time to look at in this study) tell us about Jesus' identity.

Identity and Authority

How does Jesus' identity as the Holy One, the God of Israel (in other words, the God of the Old Testament), help us understand His authority?

Be Quiet

The demon knew who Jesus was and proclaimed it. What are some of the reasons you can think of that Jesus didn't want a demon declaring His identity?

By Nature

Colossians 1:16-18 tells us about Jesus' nature and shows us why He has authority.

The Beginning

John 1:1-3 adds to our understanding.


Consider what Revelation 4:11 says about how worthy He is.


Why does Jesus have authority according to these passages?

Even Now

1 Peter 3:21-22 shows that this continues to be true even after He took a human body.


As God, the Lord Jesus is equal in every way to the Father, but He willingly submits Himself to the Father as the Son. In a similar way, He submits Himself to the Father and is given authority by the Father in a way that glorifies both of them as we see in John 17:1-4.


All the way back in Psalm 2:1-12 we see prophesy about the authority of Christ.


Daniel 7:13-14 also prophesies of Christ's authority.


John 3:35 tells us more about Christ's authority. As you read these verses, let them build in your mind and impact you.


John 5:26-27 highlights another aspect of Christ's authority.

Head Over the Church

Ephesians 1:17-23 speaks of another domain of His authority.


We see Christ's position of authority in Hebrews 8:1-2.


We see some of His titles of authority in Revelation 17:14.


We see Christ's humility even in authority in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.


We see Christ's authority to give authority in Luke 9:1.

Christ's Authority

What do these verses teach us about Christ's authority - its basis, its reach, etc.?


In Revelation 11:15 Christ's authority is equated with the Father's authority.

Won't Share

But in Isaiah 42:8 we see that God does not share His glory with any other but Himself.

Who is Jesus?

What does this tell us about who Jesus is?

All Authority

In Matthew 28:18 the Lord Jesus Himself tells us how much authority He has.

How Much?

How much authority does Jesus have?

Who Gave it to You?

A couple of years after today's passage, in Mark 11:27-28, the unbelieving rulers of Christ's day ask Him who gave Him the authority He has.

Your Answer

Based on what you've seen in Scripture, what would you answer someone asking that question? Explain your answer briefly using the verses you've read.

Once More

Read today's passage, Mark 1:21-28, once more in light of all you've learned and remembered.


How does each element in the passage work together with the others to especially highlight the theme of these verses - Jesus' authority?

One Thing

Has one thing especially stood out to you about Christ's authority as you've studied?


How should that one thing impact your life?



Do you believe that Jesus has all authority because He is God? Why?


Jesus taught with authority because, as God, His Words were always true. Do you obey Jesus' Words as if they were absolutely true? What is something that Jesus said while He was alive that you need to work on obeying today?



We hope this study has helped you understand why Jesus had so much authority and why it matters and that it has challenged you to believe and obey Him.


Please take a brief moment to provide us some feedback on this lesson. We're always striving to improve, and, with your help, we will.

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  1. Eric

    I enjoyed this inductive study quite a bit.

  2. J

    Thank you. That study was a great blessing.

  3. Jodi Hodyka

    Thank you, you can never have enough knowledge of the word.

  4. Allie Moeketsi

    I’m greatly blessed by the correct dividing of the Word.

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