Spiritual Authority – Message 4
July 17, 2022
A. Introduction (Mark 6:7)
Today we are continuing our series entitled extraORDINARY, which
is a series where we are looking at Jesus’s extraORDINARY interactions with
His disciples who were ordinary men. We are searching for ways in which we
can learn to live in that life that God calls us to live in through His son
So, we’ll be in Mark chapter 9 today, you can turn there.
To give context to this story, here is something that Jesus charged His
disciples with in Mark chapter 6.
Mark 6:7 (NLT)
7 And He called His twelve disciples together and began sending them
out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.
This is a big job description!
Mark 6:13 (NLT)
13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing
them with olive oil.
The disciples found success in this responsibility that God gave to them.
Could you imagine what that would have felt like? Probably something like
Avengers or some sort of superhero saving the world.
If that is you being asked to do that? If that is you that just saw Jesus
doing something incredible how do you respond?
Today we will see how the disciples responded when faced with a challenge
after their victory.
B. Exercising Spiritual Authority involves...
1. Confronting chaos. (Mark 9:14-19; John 6:68b. C/R: Isaiah 55:10-13)
Earlier in Mark 9, Jesus took Peter James and John up a mountain in order
to be alone with them.
In this moment, Jesus’ appearance was transformed. Later in this series we
will talk more about this instance.
Today’s passage happens as Jesus, Peter, James and John come down from the
mountain and come upon a situation of chaos.
Mark 9:14–16 (NLT)
When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd
surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with
them. When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and
they ran to greet Him.
“What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.
Jesus comes upon the remaining disciples embroiled in an argument with the
Jesus immediately gets to the heart of the matter of this chaos by asking,
“What is all this arguing about?”
Jesus here is coming down from what is another transformative experience
for a few of His disciples and immediately is thrust into a combative
I want to draw out for us Jesus’ intention of entering into this situation.
He does not sit by waiting for it to sort itself out. He also does not do
what many of us do in the midst of conflict by trying to get everyone to
just stop arguing.
No He gets into the middle of it and seeks for them to go to Him for the
solution rather than his disciples.
This is what we must be about as disciples of Christ, we must not run from
conflict or chaos, but enter into it. But we enter into these situations
pointing towards Christ’s words and not ours.
Mark 9:17–19 (NLT)
One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my
son so You could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t
let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him
violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his
teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked Your disciples to cast out the evil
spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”
Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you?
How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.”
I think it is important to note that while Jesus asked the entire crowd
what was going on, it was not the disciples or the scribes that answered
Jesus. It was a man that was searching for healing for his son.
The scribes did not want to argue with Jesus and the disciples were
probably embarrassed at their lack in being able to provide a solution for
this man’s son.
Jesus when speaking of the faithless people here, who is He talking to?
I believe it is pretty obvious that Jesus is
speaking to the disciples here. He would have been concerned about their
faith because He is leaving the keys of the kingdom to them.
We see in Jesus’ response a desire to finish His work, a sorrow over their
Jesus was gone a day and the disciples couldn’t rely on Him in His
The disciples should have responded in faith again, not living out of the
overflow from past victories. It is the same with us.
Instead of going to the well again, we rely on past things that God has
done or said, but the Word of God should be sought daily to find truth for
How do we know this truth? We must be continually bathed in the words of
Christ. Peter knew this to be true of Jesus.
John 6:68 b (NLT)
“...You have the words that give eternal life.”
The Word of God is like a fine marinade. Softens us, prepares us, and is
necessary to bring our tenderness and flavor in what could be considered a
tough, lean meat.
Ill: When we are put in situations of chaos or just simply have an
opportunity to minister to others, are we prepared with the words of
Christ? Have we spent time in His presence to be ready for exercise our
If we are going to exercise the authority that Christ has given to us, we
must step into conflicts knowing the truth of God.
2. Compassion for suffering. (Mark 9:20-22; Colossians 3:12. C/R: Isaiah 49:10; 54:10)
A boy’s father in the midst of this chaotic situation steps through the
crowd to share with Jesus what has been happening.
Mark 9:20–22 (NLT)
So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw
the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground,
writhing and foaming at the mouth.
“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him
into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and
help us, if You can.”
When the evil spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy. I think it is important
for us to understand that Jesus’ presence provokes a violent response from
If you are not careful you can domesticate all this “spiritual stuff” into
niceties. This demon was afraid of Christ and responded to His presence in
this way. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil not just teach His
way out of it.
It could have been easy for Jesus to just have healed him right then and
there, but Jesus didn’t do that. He asked a question, “how long has this
Why would Jesus ask this to the father?
It could have been a number of things… Amount of time or depth of
understanding the suffering?
I think that Jesus wanted to feel more closely connected to this father’s
heart for his child. Remember, Jesus is still omniscient, meaning He knows
the answer to the question.
But to hear this father’s recollection of his son’s suffering would have
drawn their hearts closer together.
Kids in the room. Often times your parents are asking you what is going on
at school, in your life, even though they know, because they love you and
want to feel more closely connected to you.
So rather than just give them to head nod or the idk, why don’t you
actually take the time to share what you are feeling with your parents?
Parents, sometimes you need to just sit with your kids and listen. This is
especially important when your children are teenagers. In student ministry
we instruct parents that they are moving from regular intervals of time
where you have them to a whenever they are ready to talk, drop everything
Jesus is not only concerned about what ails you, He is concerned with how
you are carrying what ails you. He isn’t some force of healing walking
around the earth, He is a person. God is concerned with you and not just
He calls us to be concerned with these things as well as His followers.
Colossians 3:12 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe
yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness,
Ill: When you are faced with someone who is suffering, or down and out or
isolated from society, are you responding in kindness and compassion or
neglect or contempt?
2. Confidence in calling. (Mark 9:23-27; 1 Peter 4:11. C/R: Ephesians 2:2-5; 1 Timothy 6:12)
After Jesus hears the plight of this boy and the father’s connection with
him. Jesus responds to the father’s proposition.
Mark 9:23 (NLT)
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a
Jesus here makes sure to let this man know that Jesus absolutely has the
authority and the ability and the willingness to heal. But did this man
have faith that Jesus could heal his son?
It is important to understand that Jesus is not just giving a personal
response to the father, but is also teaching publicly. He is instructing
that faith is really what matters.
Mark 9:24 (NLT)
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my
This is a wonderful, encouraging sweet picture of a father’s limited faith.
He had just seen the disciples fail and casting the evil spirit out of his
son, who has been struggling for years! He doesn’t want his faith to be the
reason that Christ does not heal.
But he also recognizes he has some small shred of faith.
So, he begs Jesus, not to heal his son, but trusting what Jesus just said
is true that anything is possible for those who have faith in God, to help
him increase his faith.
Mark 9:25–27 (NLT)
When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, He rebuked the
evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and
speak,” He said. “I command you to come out of this child and never
enter him again!”
Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent
convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran
through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by
the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.
The crowd growing was Jesus’ cause for the timing of this exorcism.
Remember Jesus was not wanting to attract too much attention because it was
not the right time for Him to go to the cross.
Do we have the same authority as the disciples to do what the followers of
Jesus were doing? Is our authority the same as Jesus?
First, we must recognize that we are followers of Christ first. So, we are
subject to the authority and leadership of God. What He says goes. So, our
authority is definitely not the same as Jesus.
Second, there is a particular call to Jesus’ disciples that is not to us.
And also, the spiritual activity of the enemy is more outwardly pronounced
than it is in our day. Because Jesus is a bigger enemy to Satan than you
But God has given us some authority and a role to play in His kingdom and
most specifically through the church.
1 Peter 4:11 (NLT)
Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God Himself were
speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it
with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you
do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to
Him forever and ever! Amen.
Our service to God is authorized by God by the giving of gifts to those who
have been born again for the purpose of building up the church.
Just be careful taking verses that are addressed to particular groups of
people and applying that to you.
You have a calling, but it is not the same as the calling of the people we
read about in the Bible.
Ill: What has God called you to do? Are you following His call or running
4. Contingent on God’s work. (Mark 9:28-29. C/R: Psalm 135:6-7; James 4:13-16)
Mark 9:28–29 (NLT)
Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with His disciples, they
asked Him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”
Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”
The disciples after this incident seek counsel from Jesus in order to
understand why they had failed to cast out the evil spirit from the boy.
I love this picture that Mark gives to us in his gospel. After a failure,
the disciples inquire of Him to help them understand and to assist them for
the next time they find themselves in this situation trying to figure out
why they had failed.
Jesus was instructing the disciples, that the power to heal, to teach, to
cast out demons, to encourage is God’s work. We must depend on Him and not
on our past, our skills, our experiences, or anything else.
The disciples more than likely had been riding on the high of previous
successes of being victorious over evil spirits had not depended on God and
instead depended on their own efforts.
This failure is what we will experience if we attempt to do God’s work in
our own power.
God’s work is only accomplished through faith. Faith that is alone
empowered by God.
This man’s little faith was enough to see God’s power work in the life of
His son. It was not the disciples’ faith but the faith of a suffering
father for his child that tapped into God’s power.
For us today it is the same. Prayer and God’s Word should be our primary
tools of ministry. Why are these the tools? Because God says that they are.
God’s work is accomplished in God’s way by God’s people.
Ill: Have you been trying to accomplish God’s work in your own power? Are
you tempted to seek the credit for God’s work in your life?
As believer’s we are called as partners with God into His work.