October Newsletter is here
As I continue in my studies, this month I am finishing up my class on the Gospel of Mark and will go on to Wisdom Literature which will end just before Thanksgiving.
Whenever I read the book of Mark I am always intrigued by the number of exorcisms that Jesus performs. Maybe one of these times that will turn into a sermon series: Jesus, the Real Exorcist! or maybe not. 😉 Anyway, some translations call it an “unclean spirit”, either way, it’s still an exorcism in Mark 1:21-28:
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. 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 out 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, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 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.” (New Revised Standard Version, 2003)
A couple of things strike me about this healing. First of all, it was the man with the unclean spirit that came to Jesus. No one else brought him to the synagogue. It was the spirits that provoked this confrontation and their expulsion from the man. Secondly, at this point, only the unclean spirits knew who Jesus was and named him as such in front of everyone present, “the Holy One of God”. Would you have believed them either? Even though you think that you would, you probably wouldn’t have recognized Jesus either. Third, what the people did recognize was that Jesus had authority over the unclean spirits. Jesus’ fame started to spread, but did the people actually submit to Jesus’ authority? Not one bit! The best thing of all is that now the unclean man is now able to actually worship in his own synagogue with the rest of the townspeople again. That in itself, is a miracle.
This month is all about celebrating in disguise. No matter what kind of mask you wear, and most of us do wear masks of some type, Jesus sees you. We don’t have to hide from Jesus and all that he has to do is say the word and we’re cleansed and reunited with our faith community. Don’t give fear a foothold this month, but know that your authority is in the Most Holy One, Jesus Christ.