“They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:21-22)
One of the attributes of the Gospel Passages is that they teach us how Christ lived and give us examples and models of how we should live. In these few verses from Mark chapter 1 we can see the contrast between Christ as an exemplar of a “called prophet” and those whose calling was probably not from God. While we may not teach (or do any other tasks of prophets or ministers) with the same divine authority as Christ, remember as God’s called prophets the Lord has placed the words in our mouths.
“Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.” (Verses 23-26)
While it is not unusual for prophets from God to case out unclean spirits, it is not very common either. Especially in our present day and age. However, if we concede the fact that unclean spirits may not come out with the dramatics of these verses, prophets called by God are able to help people rid themselves of uncleanliness and sin caused by spirits that seek to work against God.
“They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.” (Mark 1:27-28)
Notice, beloved reader, that the people in the synagogue DID NOT attribute this event to Jesus being the son of God but to a new type of teaching that has power and authority. You might, on the one hand, sigh and wonder why people of Jesus’ time did not recognize Jesus’ divinity. But consider that maybe, just may be, we can teach and speak with similar authority as Jesus did if we have a deep and abiding relationship with God.
One question we could ask ourselves is if we are being lead by God. To phrase it another way, is God in control of our lives or are we living according to our own agenda? When I started thinking about the theme for this week, I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted to say and which direction I wanted it to go. As the week unfolded, something changed, and I am not sure quite how to explain it. I came to realize that the verses were leading in a slightly different direction, or more precisely the Spirit was leading me in a slightly different direction.
When we are called by God we give way to God guiding our actions and inspiring our words. We may not be like the prophets of the bible, but when we give our lives over to God we enter into a “prophetic” way of life that shows what our priorities are. May you beloved reader answer when God calls on you, and may your life be a life of ministry in the tradition of God’s prophets. Selah!