Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus’ teaching caught people’s attention
Based on Dt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mk 1:21-28
Jesus was known as the son of Mary and Joseph and as the carpenter from Nazareth; but Jesus is also the Son of God. In the Gospel, the people notice something special about Jesus as he begins his teaching and healing in Capernaum, a city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
On the Sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and served as prayer leader. Any adult male member could lead the prayer; it didn’t have to be a rabbi or synagogue official.
After the prayers of thanks and praise to God, the synagogue manager brought in the wooden chest that contained the scrolls of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. One of the scrolls was unfolded and laid on the reading desk. Jesus asked a reader to recite a passage from the scroll and say a prayer of thanks.
Jesus began to teach. He surprised the people with his teaching because he spoke with such authority (to be in charge, to know about something). As Son of God, Jesus understood the Scriptures as no one else could and clearly explained their true meaning. Jesus had the people’s complete attention as he explained the Scriptures. Simply said, the Word of God explained the Word of God.
Suddenly, a piercing scream sounded through the synagogue. It came from a man who was disturbed by an evil spirit (devil). The evil spirit recognized Jesus and twice called him by name – “Jesus of Nazareth” and “the Holy One of God.”
Jesus silenced the evil spirit and sternly ordered him out of the man. The evil spirit shrieked one last time as he left the man and went out totally defeated. The man was healed and at peace.
The people were especially amazed as they realized Jesus not only teaches with authority but also has power over evil spirits.
Jesus’ fame spread throughout Galilee and people gathered to hear him teach because he spoke with such firmness and his words touched their hearts.
Jesus, may our lives witness to the truth of who you are – “the Holy One of God.”