“Jesus speaks with authority”
by Fr Dan Carroll
In the Book of Deuteronomy the Lord said to Moses ‘I will raise up for you a prophet from among your own people; I will put my Words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to the people everything that I command.’ This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus went to Capernaum in Galilee to teach.
On arriving in Capernaum Jesus went to the Synagogue as it was the Sabbath. He was being a faithful Jew. He taught the people about the Law but he taught with a difference and the people realised this. He was able to expand on the Law while being faithful to it. This was possible because of his relationship to His Father. There was an urgency about Jesus’ teaching because he wanted the people to be blessed with the power and spirit of God’s Word. The people were amazed and acknowledged that he taught with an authority the Scribes or Pharisees did not have.
A man with an unclean spirit recognised Jesus saying ‘Jesus of Nazareth, what have you to do with us, have you come to destroy us?’ Jesus healed the man and the unclean spirit left him.
The authority Jesus had came from his Father and it was the ability to turn power into humility, to reach down to where people were at, to understand their pain and sufferings and heal their wounds.
The people saw that Jesus not only proclaimed a message of love but lived this love. Jesus taught the people that through him God was coming to them, and, because they are his beloved children he wants them to enter the fullness of life.
This Gospel passage raises questions for us: What power or space do I give the Word of God in my life? Am I able to stand back in wonder and amazement and let God bring me to a new place as he did for the people in the synagogue? Can I allow the Word of God bring me to a new freedom, a new understanding of who I am?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus was the one person who received Jesus in a full and complete way. “Mother of God, give us the grace and desire to receive the Word, your Son Jesus into our lives so that may know how to love freely, truthfully and joyfully. Amen
Gospel Reading – Mark 1:21-28
Jesus and his disciples went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.
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