Reactions to the teaching and power of Jesus

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 evil spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. (Mark 1: 27-28)

This is the initial reaction to Jesus’s teaching. People were excited. People were glad. Jesus came with something new to say, something they hadn’t heard before. And he didn’t just quote scripture–it was as if he was making scripture. Jesus came with power, heaing those he chose, and ordering evil around, evil spirits fleeing at his command. No wonder word about him spread.

In Luke’s gospel telling of this story, this follows immediately after the first attempt on Jesus’s life. He’d taught with authority and power in his hometown, but this so angered them they attempted to push him off a cliff. But he miraculously escapes.

Eventually, the anger of crowds will kill him.

Like good men of many times–one thinks of Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, and Mahatma Ghandi–he is put to death by evil. Unlike even the best of these others, his death became a pardon for his followers; and unlike even the best of these others, he is raised by God to raise his followers to new life. And it is news about this that has spread from Jerusalem, to Galilee and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.