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 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.
Food For Thought:
The word that stands out to me in this passage of Scripture is “obey.” As Christians we are called to obey God. But we humans struggle with obedience―partly because we believe that obedience means subservience, but that’s not really what it means. It means to respect, listen to, and follow. This does not mean that God is trying to take away our free will, but like a parent instructing a child, we need some guidance from time to time. I’m 36 years old and I still need correcting from time to time. Sometimes it comes from my parents, or more often, my peers. It can be as simple as “Hey, that was out of line.” Or, “Wow, did you mean to say that?” Or, “Don’t you think you need to go apologize for that one?” It’s important to have people that will call you on your junk and set you straight―that’s what accountability is. Think of a time that you have obeyed God (or one of God’s earthly followers), and it was the right thing to do. Think about a time when you have been called to obey what God has envisioned for your life. (God envisions the same for all of us: To “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself”) How did you respond? Think about something or some circumstance going on in your life that you need to obey?
hear our prayers and make us faithful stewards
of the fragile bounty of this earth
so that we may be entrusted with the riches of heaven. Amen.
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