Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the Sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way he taught them, for his word was spoken with authority.
In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by an evil spirit, who shouted in a loud voice, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I recognize you: you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them, and came out of him without doing him harm.
Amazement seized all these people, and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!” And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.
One of the striking things about Elisha, the man of God, is his freedom. He is not at all impressed by the fact that his visitor is none other than Naaman, a valiant, highly esteemed, respected army general who has brought victory to his country, and who comes to “buy” his cure for leprosy with “ten talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.” When Naaman arrives at Elisha’s door, he does not get down from his chariot and instead waits for the prophet to come out to him. But Elisha does not go out to greet his famous (and arrogant) visitor. He merely sends him a message through his servant. To Elisha, the great general is no more than any other man. Naaman receives no special privilege, no V.I.P. treatment, no particular attention through a private consultation.
The people who are close to God enjoy the same inner freedom as Elisha. Why? Because the fact of being deeply attached to God detaches them from all that is not God. And this includes money, power, prestige, fame, youth, beauty, etc. When all is said and done, the ultimate power is love, which nothing can buy or conquer by force.
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