Scripture Reading: Mark 1:21-28
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, throwing him into convulsions 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.
Jesus said what he meant and meant what he said. I do not necessarily think people heard what he meant. In too many cases we hear what we want to hear. I think Jesus would be surprised by some of the words we put in his mouth. Jesus spoke some very hard truths requiring us to rethink our entire system of values, particularly those values passed on to us for generations. We truly must become a new person in Christ.
The musical/movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas* includes a song for our times, all times really, titled The Sidestep. Peppered with all the right words we want to hear, it is pretty much nonsense but designed to hook our well-planted bias: proud/humble, flag, poor to riches, plain-spoken cannot tell a lie.
Fellow Texans, I am proudly standing here to humbly see.
I assure you, and I mean it- Now, who says I don’t speak out as plain as day?
And, fellow Texans, I’m for progress and the flag- long may it fly.
I’m a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.
Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t-
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on. **
Prayer: Renew us O, Lord, help us not only to discern what you mean but live our lives guided by your Word and your example. Amen.
**First verse and chorus from The Sidestep see at http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/thesidestep.shtml