Mark 1:21-28 (NRSV)
Verse 21They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. Verse 22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Verse 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, Verse 24and 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." Verse 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" Verse 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. Verse 27They 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." Verse 28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
The people were astounded at Jesus’ teaching, for he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Jesus taught as if he was speaking for God. “A new teaching that does what it says?” (The Message) Everyone was invited to hear Jesus teach but not all welcomed or received what he taught. It is the willingness of our ears and the condition of our heart that prepares us to receive the word of God. Worries, difficult times, and the desire for other things can easily harden our hearts and make the word yield little in our lives. But Jesus invites us to come to him in whatever condition we may find ourselves, and repent. To repent is to open our hearts for God to work in us. To repent is good news. God’s word speaks with authority for those with ears to hear and hearts that are prepared for God to bear fruit in our lives.
Healing God, open our ears and change our hearts that we may humbly receive your word. May your word speak to us with authority and do what it says in our lives. Amen.