In this week’s Gospel passage, Jesus casts a demon out of a possessed man. And that’s not even the strange part of the story!
What’s strange is that the people are surprised not that Jesus has done this, but that he brings “a new teaching – and with authority” (Mark 1:27). In other words, they’re surprised because Jesus’ words match his deeds.
Perhaps that’s not so strange after all. All too often our relationships suffer because we’ve failed to live out the commitments we made to one another. We say, “I love you,” but act as though we’re passing acquaintances. We say that God came to bring justice and mercy, but live complacently with an unjust society and yearn for retributive punishment.
What’s strange about Jesus is that he lives the words he speaks, and even more than that, he calls the church to that kind of life as well. To love in word and deed. To have our actions match the commitments we make to peace and wholeness, to faithfulness and righteousness. These are the aspirations of a church enlivened by the living God! This week, consider one area of your life where you know your words and deeds don’t match up. Ask God to come into that place, to brings God’s image into that space, and help transform your life into a reflection of Jesus, who brings a new teaching with authority every time our Christian words match up with a Christian life.
Grace and peace,
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