They went into the town of Capernaum and Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority, and not like the teachers of the law.
It happened that, a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.
All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority he preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.
It was believed throughout the centuries preceding the time of Jesus that Moses (who lived some 12 centuries before Jesus) had left, aside from the Ten Commandments and his other teachings enshrined in the Torah (most of our modern Pentateuch), a body of oral teachings which were transmitted uninterruptedly from generation of rabbis to generation of rabbis and which had the same binding authority as the written Torah. Consequently, most of the teaching of the rabbis consisted in quoting authorities of the past. For example, a scribe would say: “Well, according to Rabbi Meir, who received this from his teacher Rabbi Solomon…”
But when Jesus comes on the scene, he teaches on his own authority: “You have heard it said… but I say to you” (Mt 5:21, 27, 31, 33-34, 38, 43). He cuts through all human traditions (Mt 15:1-30) and proposes his message in simple, direct terms that anybody can understand. How refreshing he sounds when compared to the “doublespeak” of our politicians, demagogues and televangelists! And eventually he backed his words with the cost of his life. He practiced what he preached and was in all things “as simple as a dove” (Mt 10:16). Are we his disciples also in this simplicity?
CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.
8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (02) 921-3984 • 922-00-11 • 921-28-59 Fax: (02) 921-6205, 927-7429
Bookstore: (02) 924-6835
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com