[Jesus] went about among the villages teaching. And He called the Twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
Those whom the Lord God sends out to proclaim His Word carry authority with them. They are given what is necessary for them to fulfill the task that is divinely assigned. This was the case with Ezekiel, the Twelve,
When Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, He came to teach the people. Jesus was present to speak about the Lord God, what He had done for His people, and what He promised to all who believe in Him. That was His task on that particular day, as well as His entire life. Throughout
But when Jesus attempts to do so in His hometown of
Instead of hearing the words about the Lord God and His great acts and His merciful promises, the people of
This is a problem that can affect you also. You can become so concerned about the messenger that the message is never heard. The answer to the questions which the
Because Jesus carried the Holy Spirit and the authority of His Father, He could speak and do such things. On the surface, He looked like any ordinary Galilean man. But the office entrusted to Jesus by His Father, the Lord God, makes Him special. It is parallel to what you heard in the other readings: Ezekiel’s being made extraordinary by the call of the Lord God; Paul’s being made extraordinary by the revelation and vision of Christ that he received. Jesus’ office as the Christ made Him unique. Yet, the people of
As mentioned earlier, the same problem can affect you. There are many people who hold offices with divine authority and sanction. They are ordinary people, at times even unimpressive people. Yet the Lord God’s choice makes them extraordinary. By virtue of the office which the Lord God has conferred upon them, they are not common. But how often people sinfully focus on the individual instead of the office!
You have a bad habit of considering the person instead of their position. Government leaders are dishonored by your comments about their person because you disagree with their ideology. Employers are disrespected by you because of their lack of good interpersonal relations. Parents are considered by you to be good based upon their skills or their dedication to their children. Spouses are deemed valuable when they meet your expectations. Even the clergy are received by congregations based upon their personality or charisma.
But these types of evaluations miss the importance of the office held by the individuals. You don’t ask the question: “Is this not whom the Lord God has given authority and status?” No, the questions are: “Isn’t this the jerk who raised my taxes or the moron who voted to end my favorite program? Isn’t this the ogre who never compliments my work? Isn’t this the woman who can’t keep her children under control or the man who calls himself father but never shows up at the children’s activities? Isn’t this my ‘partner’ who always needs my help and never pulls their weight? Isn’t this the ‘man of God’ who is cold and ineloquent?” Those questions, those thoughts put all the emphasis on the person and completely ignore the office and the accompanying authority given by the Lord God.
But what does Jesus do when faced with such questions? What does He do when the people say: “Isn’t this the carpenter?” He replies: “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” The Gospel writer says: “He marveled because of their unbelief.” And yet, Jesus doesn’t suspend His work. He doesn’t go home and sulk. No, He goes to fulfill His office.
St. Mark tells us that Jesus leaves
Thankfully that takes place. In those acts, your salvation is found. Regardless of how others consider their person, individuals who hold divinely-given offices have tasks to fulfill. Rulers must govern the people. Employers must run their businesses. Parents must rear their children. Spouses must love and cherish one another. Preachers must speak the truth of Christ, both the message of repentance and the message of forgiveness. These tasks must be done. And for Jesus it is especially so. For He has been charged by His Father to bring salvation to a world plagued by sin, absent of righteousness, and without hope. Regardless of whether people “hear or refuse to hear,” Jesus must fulfill His role as the Christ, the Word of God come down to earth.
“So Jesus went about among the villages teaching.” He goes to other synagogues in
Because Jesus didn’t abort His mission in
But as was seen in the Gospel Reading, Jesus does not do this alone. It is true that He alone earned salvation by His perfect life provided in substitute for your sinfulness. But then Jesus sends others with His authority, carrying the Holy Spirit, to bring the merits that He earned to you. Jesus continues to send apostles out to speak His message of what He has done and what He has promised. They are to speak it whether people listen or not. They are to act with His authority whether people recognize it or not.
As the authority of Christ is seen in your midst—in His teaching, wisdom, and mighty works—you can be assured that the salvation He has earned is yours to keep. Your confidence is in the authority that the Father gave to His Son to bring into this world. Jesus speaks the truth about Himself and about you: He is the source of your eternal good. Jesus doesn’t turn away from His duties, but fulfills them, so that you may receive what the Lord God has set aside for you: forgiveness, life, and salvation. So it is brought to you as those whom He sends go about the villages teaching and proclaiming the words and works of Christ.
T In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.