Is God in charge?

OPENING PRAYER

Holy Spirit, speak to me as I read the account of this day in the ministry of Jesus.

 

Read: MARK 1:21–28

[21] They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. [22]The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. [23] Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, [24] “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!” [25] “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” [26] The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. [27] The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching-and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” [28] News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

 

Reflect: HOW WAS JESUS’ TEACHING SET APART?

The only record we have of the content of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue (Luke 4:16–22) tells us that it was very different to that of his contemporaries. Rabbinic teaching usually involved the exposition and weighing up of different opinions expressed by learned rabbis in the past. Jesus teaches as if his views about the text are the beginning and end of the matter, and his listeners certainly recognize that he teaches with authority (22). Authority is about whose view of the world prevails; in this passage, Jesus behaves in such a way that it is obvious to all that he is in charge and his worldview prevails. Demons are powerless in his presence; people are in awe of him. In my everyday life, I’m used to evaluating situations and trusting my own judgement. I wonder what it would mean for me if I tried to see and respond to what’s around me according to Jesus’ commands, values and behavior; to stop and listen for a way of responding other than my first reaction? What would it mean for you?

 

APPLY

Seek God on your perspective and respond by letting him change yours.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Messiah Jesus, I know you’re working. Will you help me to live as if I really believed that was true, and to listen for your promptings.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider