Mark 1:21-22, 28 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law….
… News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
A grandmother told her granddaughter, “Tomorrow, we’re going to Sunday school”
“I don’t like Sunday school,” said the granddaughter. “We need to learn more about God,” replied the grandmother. The granddaughter said, “I learned about Him last week.” “I’ve been going to church all my life, and I haven’t learned enough,” said the grandmother. The granddaughter replied, “Well, maybe you weren’t paying attention!”
What would it be like to spend a day with Jesus? Have you ever thought about what it would have been like to be one of his disciples and to be with him day in and day out? Listening to Jesus. I am sure we all have people who we could listen to for hours, and then there are the others where after 10 minutes we’ve had enough. Jesus would have been one of those speakers we could listen to for hours.
The usual teachers in the synagogue each time they spoke would have sought to apply the prescription of the law right down to the letter. And possibly that would mean that the people attending the synagogue would have found it was the same things being said each week. Hard to be amazed about that!
Law comes from the head. Love comes from the heart.
The emphasis in Mark’s reading is not on what Jesus said, but on the authority he displayed as he spoke (as Jesus speaks he reveals who he is, he is God) and on the people’s reaction to it.
When were we last amazed at the words of Jesus?
Are we like the granddaughter – I learnt about Jesus last week – there’s nothing more to learn?
Or are we like the grandmother – I’ve been coming all my life and there’s still so much to learn?
Do we go to church expecting, or hoping, to be amazed?
How about we set ourselves a challenge that in the coming days and weeks we seek to be amazed by the word of God. Like we are reading the stories and verses for the very first time.
Expect to be amazed, not “ho-hum”. Let us not be complacent. Let the ordinary become extraordinary to us.
Jesus spoke to en-able people, to em-power them. To enable them (us) to grow as a person, to be more effective in the development and use of their (our) gifts.
Gracious God, no matter how complacent we might get, keep on challenging us to look for you in the ordinary things and to hear your words where we’d least expect them. Keep on surprising us, God of the everyday.
In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.