Daily Reflection – 1/14/2020
Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. (Mark 1:21-28)
The Gospel account is a familiar one about Jesus teaching in the synagogue. He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Jesus’ authority comes from an “inner power”–in this case, Jesus’ oneness with God.
That’s how Jesus speaks to our hearts as well. Not with the false authority of a bully trying to scare us into submission. Not the insecure authority of a man trying to convince us of something he doesn’t believe in himself. No, he speaks with the humble authority of a Messiah motivated by nothing but love for us. It’s the authority that a person displays when helping a close friend through a difficult time—talking gently whenever possible, but firmly if necessary, and always with respect and affection. When Jesus speaks to us this way, his words sink into our hearts, and we know he is speaking out of love.
If even the evil spirits of the world acknowledge that Jesus is the “Holy One of God,” we can too. The more we go to Christ through the reading of Scripture, through daily prayer, through listening to teachings, we grow in faith and become more open to God. The more we do these things, the more we realize that when we start living our lives, and live them for God, the context of being part of Jesus Christ changes our ability to make it in this world.
When Jesus Christ is the authority in our lives, our lives become stronger, bolder, livelier, and more joyful. If we pay attention, encountering Christ can be as striking as that white limestone synagogue in the midst of basalt buildings.
We begin to ask ourselves, “Why did I listen to those people instead of the Lord?” “Why did I doubt myself when he is the King of the Universe?” “Why did I think I was no good when I was made through him and for him “Why didn’t I walk as someone who has the authority of Christ at my back?”
We don’t follow any teacher; we follow THE Teacher. We don’t have any friend; we have THE Friend. We aren’t in a relationship with any lover, we are in a relationship with THE Lover of our souls. We are not bowing down to any power-hungry lord, we bow down to the Lord who first lowered himself to become one of us. Exemplary, that is Jesus. Authoritative, that is Jesus.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, we often come to you as if you are an insignificant thought, a guiding principle that is nice and easy. Help us to be honest with you about who we are, what we have done and what we have failed to do. Give us the strength we need to live as your disciples, filled with the authority you bring as Master of the Universe. Amen.
Each of us needs to arrive at a point in our lives where we recognize that the primary authority in our lives is God alone. That awareness, that acknowledgement of His presence, that recognition will create transformation in our world where authority exhibits itself as power which can be abusive, if exercised apart from God. Are you ready to acknowledge that authority and conform your life to his word of truth, goodness and love? Are you willing to be a living bulwark against earthly teachings that demand authority to one other than Jesus Christ?