A Teaching with Authority – Reflection for 28 JAN 2018
Jesus enters the synagogue at Capernaum and begins teaching. Obviously, the people there missed the irony of the Word of God reading and teaching on the Word of God because they were astonished. Jesus taught with an authority which they had never encountered, the authority given Him by the Father and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The scribes taught based on the teachings of the men who had gone before them. Jesus was before them!
In the early fifteenth century Thomas à Kempis wrote that “many people, although they often hear the gospel, feel little desire to follow it.” I’m not certain that much has changed in the six centuries that have passed since he wrote this. Perhaps we have forgotten the authority with which Jesus spoke. Perhaps we have bestowed that authority in people or culture or nations or even the church. Perhaps we have even usurped that authority for ourselves as we hear the gospel but choose not to follow.
The Good News, the Gospel, of the Kingdom is redemption, reconciliation, healing, and forgiveness. The Good News is life and joy and love as beloved children and heirs of God. The authority of this Gospel is undiluted in the twenty one centuries that have passed since Jesus proclaimed it in that synagogue in Capernaum. It still brings cleansing to the unclean and forgiveness to the sinner. It is still amazing.
I invite you today to listen to the Gospel of Christ. As the interior voices begin to say that “this is not for you” or “you certainly don’t think you can be forgiven” or whatever other lies you might have given authority, hear the powerful voice of Christ saying “Be silent!” to those voices. May the Gospel of Christ have authority in your life.