Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 27 janvier 2021

Jesus taught as a man with authority

Dieu ma joie: Jésus enseignait avec autorité

 The Gospel of this Sunday shows us Jesus « teaching as a man with authority, not as the scribes » in the synagogue of Capernaum on the Sabbath. For us, who only know his teaching through the testimony of those who attended him, how does what Jesus said in the past have authority for us today? What does it mean to be authoritative? In the Gospel, if the word of Jesus is authoritative, it is because Jesus is totally attuned to his word.

There is no distance between what he says and what he is. He is in his word, he is the Word. Today, the Word of God is authoritative for me in that it leads, directs my life. It is the meditation of this Word that brings me the great orientations of my existence. This Word is authoritative for me in the sense that I try humbly and even if it is with many failures to conform to it. This Word is also authoritative in the way I receive it. We also have to transmit it so that it can be a path for others.


From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark

Jesus and his disciples entered Capernaum. Immediately on the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue, and there he taught. They were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as a man of authority, and not like the scribes. Now there was a man in their synagogue, tormented by an unclean spirit, who began to cry out : « What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth ? Have you come to lose us ? I know who you are: you are the Holy One of God. » Jesus challenged him sharply : « Be quiet ! Come out of the man. »  The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
They were all astonished and wondered among themselves, « What does this mean ? This is a new teaching, given with authority ! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him. «  His fame immediately spread throughout the whole region of Galilee.  (Mk 1, 21-28)

Stay in Capernaum

Immediately after his arrival in Capernaum, Jesus entered the synagogue ; it was on a Sabbath day, he taught, and all were astonished at his doctrine, when a man with an unclean spirit cried out :   »Have you come to lose us? we know who you are: the Holy One of God. « 

Jesus commanded the spirit to be silent and to come out of the man, and he obeyed after he had violently shaken the man possessed and shouted loudly. This healing caused amazement and discussion among the witnesses. The fame of Jesus spread.

Matthew placed this remark on the authority of the teaching of Jesus Christ following the Sermon on the Mount, where the application was no less appropriate. Luke made a similar observation on the same occasion as Mark. The words of the devil began with this exclamation : « Ha ! let us rest. »

To have nothing to do with Jesus, who came to lose, to destroy the kingdom of darkness. The demoniacs knew this, because they knew that Jesus is the Holy One of God, the one whom God sanctified : « He whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, you say to him, ‘You blaspheme. And this is because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’. I am the Son of God » (Jn 10, 36).

It was the absolute contrast between the holiness of Jesus and the unclean spirits that caused the torment of the latter and it should be noted that the latter does not only speak in his own name, but in the name of all his fellow men: you and us; we know.  Jesus spoke to the demon and distinguished him positively from the man that the demon made speak: come out of him.

If this demonic influence had only been a popular prejudice, Jesus would obviously have shared this prejudice. The silence that Jesus imposed on the demon was related to the confession that the demon made : « You are the Holy One of God. « Jesus thus rejected a testimony that came to him from the kingdom of darkness, which was used against him.

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said : « He is possessed by Beelzebub, and by the chief of the demons he casts out demons. « (Mk 3, 22).

The spectators made a connection between the authority of the word and the power shown in the act. They concluded that the manifestation of this power, which delivers souls from the kingdom of darkness, presupposed a new teaching, a new revelation. Revelation and redemption, prophecy and miracle were for the Israelites an intimate relationship.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Young catholics : click here to read the paper →  4th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B (2021)

◊ Pathway to Victory  : click here to read the paper → Jesus Taught with Authority

Fr. Jacinto : « The Authority of Jesus »

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