Scripture

Mark 1: 21-28

Confident teaching

Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.

Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!”

Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.

Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. “What’s going on here? A new teaching that does what it says? He shuts up defiling, demonic spirits and sends them packing!” News of this traveled fast and was soon all over Galilee.

Reflection

Jesus arrives in Capernaum and right away, he goes and teaches in the meeting place - the synagogue. That’s a confident act!

 

Listening to him, the people who go there all the time learn something new, because he is speaking with “authority”. They are finally hearing the word of God - straight from the source, and they can tell the difference.

 

What are we to make of the “deeply disturbed” man though? In most versions of this Gospel, he’s described as a man with an evil or “unclean” spirit. We tend to feel a bit uncomfortable with that these days. He seems to be the sort of person even the most caring of us would cross the road to avoid - he could be dangerous; he's at the very least embarrassing.

 

Yet he is the only one who knows who Jesus is: the Holy One of God, who has come to destroy evil.

 

He also asks a really important question: what business does Jesus have with us?

 

Jesus just shows him: he uses his God-given authority to free the man from the evil that had him in its grip.

 

The answer to his question is: we are all Jesus’s business! There are times when each of us is disturbed, when every one of us thinks and does things we know we shouldn’t and wish we hadn’t, and when we don’t know how to get out of the hole we’re in.

 

Jesus didn’t come for perfect people. He came to bring us all hope, with the amazing news of God’s Kingdom , to free us from everything that holds us back and keeps us from God. We just need to let him in, and accept the help he offers us.

Clare Lewis

Salesian Communications Worker

Prayer

God our Father

 

You sent us your son to free us.

Help us to open our hearts and let him in.

Help us to hear what he teaches us,

And to allow him to set us free from our troubles.

 

Amen

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