READ: Mark 1:21-45
THINK: Have you ever known of someone who had a position of authority but seemed to lack compassion or concern for people? Then again, you may know a person who is kind and compassionate, but who lacks the opportunity and resources to do everything he or she would like to do for others. Jesus is someone you can know personally who has ultimate power and authority over everything. Yet not only does He have the ability to help and heal, He also has the desire to show compassion and do what's best for you in every situation. Even more, He has the ability and the desire to demonstrate His power and compassion through you.
RESPOND: What is "the synagogue"? (See Mark 1:21 note.) Why and how do you think the people sensed that Jesus had special authority (v. 22)? How was His authority different from that of the teachers of the law? What does the demons' reaction to Jesus (vv. 23-24) tell us about Him? What does Jesus response to the demons (vv. 25-27) tell us about Him? (See article on Power over Satan and Demons, p. 1347 of the FBSE.) Why did Jesus not permit the demons to speak of His identity? What difference do you think Jesus' prayer life made in His ministry? What can we learn from how the man with leprosy approached Jesus (v. 40) and from how Jesus responded to him (vv. 41-42)? Why did the people keep coming to Jesus regardless of where He was?
PRAY: Praise Jesus for His awesome power and authority over all things, including the forces of evil in this world. Ask Him to have His way in your life and to give you compassion for people that allows you to influence them for God. Pray for someone you know who is facing spiritual opposition or is in need of help and healing.
ACT: Do more than pray. Reach out to someone today who needs to experience Jesus power and compassion. Don't wait for someone to cross your path. Go to him or her and offer an encouraging word and do something practical to help. Let the person know that you are praying. If appropriate, pray for them on the spot, in person.
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