1 Corinthians 2:10-16; Psalm 145:8-14;Luke 4:31-37
“They were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.” (Luke 4:32)
How many seminars, homilies, class lectures, or speeches have you heard in your life? Probably more than you can count. Definitely more than you can remember. For some reason or another, most of these talks didn’t make a deep impression. Perhaps the speakers weren’t well prepared or were not dynamic enough. Perhaps you were distracted or bored. And perhaps it was so long ago that the memory has faded. Whatever the reason, it’s not often that we hear words that really make an impact in our lives.
The people in today’s Gospel reading had a different experience. They were astonished at Jesus because he spoke “with authority” (Luke 4:32). It wasn’t just because he knew the Scriptures well. It wasn’t just because he was a moving speaker who could sway a crowd. It was because his words resonated inside their hearts. They were words of God’s compassion and mercy, words of his power to heal and his desire to save. These words even had the power to scatter evil spirits!
Don’t you wish you could hear Jesus preach like this? Well, in a sense you can—every time you open the Scriptures. The same One who spoke to that crowd can speak to you through the pages of the Bible because these words are inspired by the Holy Spirit himself. They bear not just information about God; they bear the very breath of God. And that breath can infuse us with the life and wisdom and power of God if we approach these words in prayer and with an open heart.
If you want to experience the power of God’s word, start with today’s reading. Focus on the possessed man’s words: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34). Let that statement sink in. All of creation, even the fallen angels, recognize Jesus as the Holy One. You recognize him too, and he’s right here with you. Take a few moments to worship him. Go beyond the words, and go to Jesus. Thank and praise him for his majesty, and let yourself be transformed by his grace and love!
“Dear Lord, thank you for giving us your word! Let it penetrate me to the depth of my soul. May it teach me, inspire me, and guide me in the way of salvation.” ~WAU