Revd Sara’s Reflection
Bible Reading: Mark 1:21-28
Today, the New Testament reading from Mark 1:21-28 tells a story from the Bible that reminds us that Jesus had power and authority. Jesus was and is a teacher who could control anything, yet cared for each individual and demonstrated his love through his actions. In the Gospel of Mark, we see him heal someone from an evil spirit. Here is a little bit of that gospel reading:
‘And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.’
Jesus began his earthly ministry by teaching people in the area where he was living and working. Some were sceptical about who he was, but many people noticed how he spoke like someone who knew what he was talking about. He had authority when he taught and instructed people. It wasn't just knowledge; it was a power that made people sit up and take notice. When confronted with an impure spirit, Jesus didn't negotiate or plead; he commanded the spirit to leave, and it had to obey.
This event tells us something important about Jesus. He has authority over all things, even the forces that try to harm us. It's like Jesus is saying, "I am in control, and nothing can stand against my power." Even with these amazing stories from the Bible that help to show us who Jesus is, this passage contains a warning not to be too confident in our own ability to discern what God is saying. It is hard to ignore the fact the unclean spirit knew of Jesus’ identity when the disciples and those in the synagogue did not.
Those who were most committed to Jesus’ teachings failed to recognise the most important thing about him. It was an unclean spirit, something most in need of transformation, that knew the truth. It is a reminder, if one is needed, that theological authority does not reside solely in the church.
Take some time today, or this week, to reflect on these questions and find someone you can trust to discuss them with: -
Where does authority come from? For Jesus, and in your life?
Why does it matter where Jesus’ authority comes from?
What does it take for you to recognise someone’s authority?
What does it look like to treat Jesus as our primary authority?
Where might we find and encounter important truth outside of the church?
So, as you rise from this space today, may you be encouraged by the authority of Jesus.
Whatever challenges you are facing this week, may you remember that he is in control, and his power and love are with us now and wherever we go.
With love and prayers Revd Sara