Gospel Mk 1:21-28
“He taught them with authority”
One interesting thing to note in our reflections on Mark’s Gospel over these last few weeks is that, up until now, we’ve heard very little of the actual content of Jesus’ teaching.
What we’ve witnessed very directly though, is that Jesus was a man who had an inherent magnetism. There was something about his very person that people gravitated towards. In today’s Gospel we read that he spoke not as one who gave a considered theological opinion like the scribes and other teachers, but as one who had authority.
While we might conjecture about the content of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, all that we are given in this reading is that his words had a tremendous impact on all who heard it.
The fact that these words go unreported is not to say that his words were unimportant for the evangelist – far from it – as we see in today’s Gospel, his words contain a potency nobody had ever seen. Indeed, with but a few words Jesus is able to deliver this unfortunate man who suffered demonic possession.
I think the evangelist here is trying to emphasise that Jesus was not into proclaiming a mere list of doctrines that his followers would simply need to ascent to, or a program of morals that they would need to abide by. Mark speaks of Jesus as at once wholly unexpected, and yet paradoxically, the fulfilment of the deepest desires of the human heart. He does not offer a mere doctrine to believe or a set of moral guidelines to follow, but instead, he offers those who encounter him something new – an opportunity to be more radically who they are; to live life with more intensity. To be more fully human.
Point to Ponder
‘The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.’
Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 22