Sunday, January 31st, 2021, Epiphany IV, Authority
Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalm 111, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28
Have you ever wondered what Mark meant when he writes that Jesus taught with authority? The thought is; it is with integrity. Not about academics and book learning, but relationship. Not just someone else’s understanding but own thoughts and feelings, and choices.
But it is about being in relationship with those in need as well, and having some understanding about what they are going through, that may be why programs like AA and NA are so successful. This means those mentoring can relate to the situation those whom they are mentoring are experiencing.
It is interesting that Jesus’ family thought he was crazy or possessed; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.”Mark 3:20-22
I am not saying that Jesus was crazy or possessed; but that maybe for him to be thought of as such is to that he was able to show understanding and compassion for those in these situations.
What does this say about authority? We traditionally think of authority as being about power and influence and not showing weakness and vulnerability, yet is this the authority Jesus is exhibiting or about the seemingly exact opposite?
It may not be that simple and binary, one or the other. This may suggest how we use our power and authority. This seems to mean giving voice to the voiceless, and using our talents and benefits for the good of others in the community, particularly those who seem to be left behind. A question came up in bible study; can a prophet be an insider?
I don’t think a prophet can be a total insider, but has to have understanding of those on the margins at least. And are those on the margins often questioned about why they don’t quite fit?
So Jesus on the margins, and more and more is the church also on the margins of society and this calls us to use this to help others who are left behind.