A New Teaching

On the Gospel of Mark 1:21-28

4th Sunday of the Year

Jesus has now begun His public ministry. His first public appearance according to St Mark begins with His teaching in the synagogue, the place of Jewish worship. It is fitting that He begins His ministry here as He has come to fulfil the old covenant that God had made with the people and set up a new covenant, a covenant with His Father in heaven, through His blood. He seems to set down His programme by aiming his teaching at the Jewish people. He speaks with authority and the people recognise that, as they are amazed by what He says. Jesus’ authority has come from His Father as Jesus is the Son. When He began His ministry, Jesus’ words may not have penetrated their hearts and show the true character of His authority, yet the people could not help but notice  and be aware of its presence and contrasting it with the highest authority they knew most among  their human teachers. It is here that Jesus will face human authority against divine authority.

This authority is recognised also in His work. No sooner had Jesus spoken that a man came in with an unclean spirit. At this very early stage in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus performs a healing miracle. Even the unclean spirit recognises who Jesus is. The spirit recognises Jesus’ authority, simply by saying, “what are you to do with us….” Secondly, the spirit recognises Him by name, it says that it knows who Jesus is: He is “…the Holy One of God.”

The question in today’s society is whether we know who Jesus is. Do we recognise His authority? Many people in today’s society recognise Jesus and the Church for the wrong reasons. Society recognises a completely different culture, a culture of violence, crime, saturation of media, internet, computer games, drink, and drugs and so on.

Modern society doesn’t recognise the Church as it used to. Sunday Mass is no longer family oriented; people have turned away from the Church and from Jesus. Society will continue to fall further into vice if Jesus is not part of our lives. Goodness will fall from society and we will be left in a Godless state.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Hope, ready to lead us to eternal happiness with the Father, but first we must stop, step back from our daily lives, and recognise Jesus, and the only way we can do that is by recognising Jesus in the breaking of bread, the Eucharist. Jesus is waiting for us to come and recognise Him, let us take time to see Him.  Let us stand back, be amazed at Him, and recognise Him for Who He truly is.

 

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “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!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 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.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

– Mark 1:21-28

 

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