“HE TAUGHT THEM AS ONE WHO HAD AUTHORITY (Mark 1:22)

⏰Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

????Deut 18:15-20; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7abc, 7d-9 (R.v.7d, 8a); 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mark 1:21b-28

In this era, many people rise up on daily basis with a claim to possess prophetic voices. Of course, anyone who wakes up in that manner must have followers. But the problem comes when another person gets up with another prophetic voice that is completely in opposition to the other. In some cases even, one person speaks two opposite things about one subject at the same time frame, with the same prophetic voice. What then are we to believe? Is it that God is in opposition to himself?

Well, the whole thing beckons on us to be careful and mind what we listen to as a prophetic voice. An authentic prophetic voice must be one that has the authority of the word of God backing it. God is one and cannot be in opposition to himself. The Gospel gives us an example of such authentic prophetic voice in Jesus. In the deuteronomic criteria for checking an authentic prophet, three things were to be considered:
????????The prophecy must conform to the Law (cf. Deut 12:32 13:14)
????????The prophet must be a prophet like Moses (cf. Deut 18:15-20)
????????The prophecy must be fulfilled (cf. Deut 18:21-22).
That means, he must not be preaching against the Law of God given through Moses. As regards being a prophet like Moses, as recorded in the First Reading, God himself would put his word into the prophets mouth (cf. Deut 18:18). In essence, his sole authority would be God.

That is what makes the difference between Jesus and the scribes. The scribes used the authority of their predecessors and the Law but Jesus spoke with personal authority that radiated a finality of the voice of God. Remember that the Gospel of Mark had earlier introduced him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).

More than that however, they could feel that there is something extraordinary about his teaching; nobody ever spoke like him (cf. John 7:45-46). We can be sure that one of the things that gave him such authority was his ability to match his words with integrity. He did not say one thing and did another. Because of such an authority with integrity, anything that does not possess such integrity could not withstand his presence.

Can you consider the prophetic voices that we have as being like that of Jesus, who spoke with authority or like that of the scribes? Let those who claim to have prophetic voices but without the authority of God desist from that lest they face the wrath of God (see Deut 18:20)

Again, do you, as a leader, possess an integrity that could make people see you as a leader with a difference? People follow those with integrity more than they would follow those who push them.

“O that today you would listen to his voice, harden not your heart (Ps 95:7, 8).

Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday. Peace be with you.

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