Today's gospel has a description of Jesus which actually calls upon us to examine in further prayer and study how he surprised those gathered in the Temple at Capernaum on the Sabbath. As Mark recalls, the people were astonished by Jesus' teaching. They learned "actions speak louder than words." A man possessed screamed out while Jesus was speaking. He said "I know who you are -- the Holy One of God." The man went into convulsions and Jesus said to the Evil One "Come out of him." One last scream and the Evil One left the man. Obviously those present were overwhelmed. Here was a teacher with a new kind of authority not witnessed before.
Let's place ourselves in our world today with several questions meant to help us in our understanding of the man Jesus. There are so many situations which challenge our relationship with Jesus every hour of every day. -- events which we might pass over to readily.
Here is one question: "Do you think or believe that Jesus has authority?" Another question: "How do you react to his authority as your think or believe it to be? Does it have as much strength as the radar trap that we know exits and to which we immediately slow down our cars? Is his authority the kind you honestly feel to be enabling or is his authority too overpowering? Does our Church help or hinder your personal understanding of Jesus' authority?
Imagine you are walking in downtown DC, on Capitol Hill, which has an abundance authority symbols. If your were to go to the Lincoln Memorial and Jesus walks out from behind President Lincoln's seated memorial, what would you think if Jesus asked you what you thought of the words carded in the wall behind the 16th President? Can you say anything similar about Jesus and his mission were you charged with inscribing words behind a shrine or monument to Jesus? This may well reflect how you view Jesus' authority in your life. By the way, the words are not the Gettysburg Address!