Jesus “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes” (Mk 1:22). What does Mark mean? Mark is relaying to us that the way the scribes taught and discussed their sacred texts was by quoting various trusted interpreters they learned from, those who had the weight of authority to do so and tracing the lineage of their learning all the way back to Moses.
Jesus quoted no one. He spoke from his own authority.
The Gospel of John picks up the source of Jesus’ authority from the beginning line of his Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). Jesus Christ is the Word, the Logos in Greek. Who would have more authority to speak about the word of God, than the Logos, the Word, himself?
The authority of Jesus was not only limited to teaching but restoration. As he was teaching in the synagogue he expelled the unclean spirit of a man when he said, “Quiet! Come out of him” (Mk 1:25)! Time and again we read accounts of Jesus healing and exorcising demons with his word.
If you haven’t read the Bible ever, have not for a long time, or have been away for a while, I invite you to read the Gospel of Mark. Along with prayer, reading the Gospels is a way to come to know Jesus and experience his authority in our lives. You may do so along with the Church as we are reading the Gospel daily or at your own pace, say five to ten minutes a day. What may be even better is to read a short section at a time and meditate on the passage read.
Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, it is quick moving, and action-packed. The Gospels lend themselves particularly well to visualizing the text, and placing yourself in the reading as if you were watching a movie. See what Jesus wants to reveal or communicate to you in the silence of your heart.
We can also receive a word or phrase and carry it with us through the day, such as from today’s account. We may not be dealing with being possessed, but if we are experiencing pressure, temptation, feeling indecisive or divided we can call on Jesus’ words and speak in his name, “Quiet!” or “Peace be still!” and receive through the authority of his word his healing presence within us.
We do not have to journey alone this day. We have the gift of prayer and the Word of God to help us to remember that Jesus is present with us, helping us to continue his mission which is to help us and others to be aware that the kingdom of God is at hand!
Photo: Jesus makes himself known to us in his Living Word proclaimed and lived in our lives!