January 14, 2020, Tuesday Gospel Reflection Mark 1:21-28 Jesus’ Authority
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “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!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
In today’s Gospel, amazement filled everyone present to witness what Jesus had done! Jesus had the power, the authority, and the presence that the Pharisees merely did not have. It was also during this time that the Jews were looking for healers, leaders, and prophets. More so, Christ’s care and compassion appear to them as the sincerest and the strongest.
Like a good leader, Jesus spoke with authority in His voice. Why? Because He “walk the talk” that seemed to absent from the leaders and priests during Jesus’ time. His words made sense to the people because the Good News made a difference in people’s lives.
There are two separate aspects of this passage; the first is Jesus’ teachings and their effects on His listeners. The second aspect is Jesus’ first miracle after His baptism, the exorcism of the unclean spirit. These aspects may be separate, but they are closely linked in a way that the presence and teaching of the Kingdom set off a reaction to all, and in particular, to the demon-possessed man.
Christ’s actions of mercy by His miracle of deliverance supported the authority of His Words. The link between Christ’s authority and this miracle is a solid example of salvation approaching as a free give from the Father, Who, through Jesus, reaches out to those who need Him especially the oppressed.
With Jesus, His teachings and actions go hand in hand. His words illuminate the work, and His actions confirm the Good News.
Whose Side Are You?
The Gospel today reveals that by words and examples, the Kingdom indeed is at hand, that means in operation in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ is the 'Kingdom' who reigns absolute overall, including the powers of darkness that torment man.
Today’s Gospel invites us to ask ourselves, who has the overall authority in our life? Whose rule are we under? In which Kingdom do we find ourselves?
More so, does the Good News reveal in our thoughts, emotions, and actions? Do people see the face of God through how we treat them, how we talk to them, how we pray or think of them?
Christ’s authority brings liberation. The choice we have is between Christ who brings freedom, victory, endless mercy, and infinite love and darkness that brings destruction, defeat, oppression, and death. Whose side are we on?
© 2020 Miel Reyes