“He taught as a man of authority” (1, 21Mc-28) | RCF

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.
We were struck by his teaching,
for he taught as a man of authority,
and not like the scribes.
Now there was in their synagogue
a man tormented by an unclean spirit,
who began to shout:
“What do you want from us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are :
you are the Saint of God. »
Jesus challenged him sharply:
” Shut your mouth ! Get out of this man. »
The unclean spirit caused him to convulse,
then, uttering a loud cry, came out of him.
They were all stunned
and asked each other:
” What does that mean ?
Here is a new teaching, given with authority!
He commands even unclean spirits,
and they obey him. »
His fame immediately spread everywhere,
throughout the region of Galilee.

Source: AELF

Meditation Pastor Corinne Charriau

Twice during this story, the witnesses of the scene will be struck with astonishment by the authority with which Jesus teaches and drives out an impure spirit. What is at stake in what is happening concerns the identity of Jesus: he does not teach like the scribes and he even gives orders to unclean spirits who obey his word. Jesus is at the center of the story. Mark sets the scene here: from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee he tackles the theme of Jesus’ authority in matters of teachings and acts of power. And this authority of Jesus will oppose the religious authorities, and this is what will lead him to death.

The witnesses of the scene seize on the authority of Jesus the fact that he does not teach like the scribes. Their referential is that of the scribes, so they situate Jesus in relation to them. We too have religious or other references, and we situate many things, events, and even people in relation to them. We also have our idea of ​​who Jesus is.

I will note with you that between the two astonishments of the witnesses of this scene, it is the impure Spirit who knows the identity of Jesus and says to him ” I know who you are, the saint of God “. So, Jesus threatens this impure Spirit, silences him about it because it is not yet the time and the place; and Jesus brings it out of this man who, moreover, did not ask for anything! Jesus has authority to say – to teachand do – cast out the unclean spirit.

It will however be necessary for the readers that we are, as for the disciples, to go to the end of the Gospel narrative to grasp how the identity of Jesus is deployed, how his identity is deployed and from whom he holds it. At the beginning of the year 2023, this text invites us to let ourselves be surprised by the One who came to proclaim the reign of God, who came to say and do as close as possible to humans. This biblical text invites us not to fall back on ready-made formulas on Jesus but, to live as a rediscovery in our lives, his performative word, because when he says it, he does.

Moreover, the witnesses were not mistaken there because they are astonished by a teaching ” new full of authority “. With Him, something new can arise in our lives, freeing us from what worries us and holds us. It is to be borne in our hearts by those who wish to accept his words.

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“He taught as a man of authority” (1, 21Mc-28) | RCF

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