by Brad Case

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Epiphany 4 Gospel.

Text: Mark 1:21-28 for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Lectionary Series B


Participants will:

  1. Grow by understanding how power and authority exist in the world today.
  2. See how God uses His power and authority.


This Bible Study has been developed for small groups of 6-8 persons. If your group is larger than this, divide into smaller groups. Choose as a leader the oldest in your group. The leader’s most important function is to encourage the participation of all members. Participants should always have the freedom to pass if they do not wish to share their experiences.


Share with the group a time when you felt especially powerful and why.


  1. In Mark 1:21-28, Jesus drives out from a man an evil spirit. The people who were standing around watching were amazed at what they saw. They exclaimed, “What is this? A new teaching–and with authority!”
  2. Think about the people listed below which have authority.
    1. How did they acquire authority?
    2. How do they use their authority?
    3. How do people respond to their authority?
      Madonna             a judge your parents                        a police officer
      your teacher       your pastor          Michael Jordan the President
    4. How is power different from authority?
    5. Do you have authority over anyone? If you answered “no,” at what point do you think you’ll have authority? After high school? After college? When you have a job? When you reach a certain level of success at your job?
    6. Read Mark 1:21-28. Assign parts to various members of your group and role play this story from Scripture. After the story has been acted out, have one person from the group be a “reporter” and find out how each character reacted to these events.


Now, have each group member complete as many endings as you can to this sentence: “After looking at God’s Word, I realized that I…” Take no more than five minutes before sharing your list with your group.


Close in a group prayer, as each member thanks God for showing His power and authority in each person’s life. You might want to include a prayer of thanks for the gifts and talents with which God’s authority had blessed your group members. Complete your Bible study by singing the common Doxology, “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow.”


Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.

Updated for youthESource in January 2015