CHRISTIAN IDENTITY COMMANDS POWER AND OBEDIENC
In the 1st reading, God promised to raise up a prophet like Moses to teach his people and this promise was fulfilled in Christ jesus who taught about the kingdom of God with authority as we read in the gospel passage while the second reading gives us a clue of how we can take after jesus authority as his followers and not as Moses followers.
Meanwhile, from the point of view of comparative amalysis, Jesus is like Moses but much more than Moses for there is a fundamental difference. Moses was a great prophet, Jesus is God. Moses taught as a messenger of God, Jesus teaches as the message of God. This is why Jesus taught with an authority fundamentally different from those of the scribe & Pharisees who followed the commandments of Moses. We can therefore conclude that Jesus authority suppases that of Moses. Although he was idealized as prophet par excellence,
a liberator, priest, and judge.
Since we posses a christian identity by the virtue of our initiation, we need to constantly remember that we stand on the authority of jesus. Who by the fact that he is the fulfilement of God’s promise in the old testament, has given us upgraded teachings.
We may be trending through a terrible track of doom if we continue to cling on the laws of Moses. The scribes and Pharisees made this grievous mistake and refused to lend credence to the event of the transifguration ( Mtt 17:2).
Even today, Christians still show a gross sign of rejection of Jesus teaching. For instance, Jesus teaches love for one’s enemies and we prefer Moses eye for an eye. Praying for their destruction.
One thing intrinsically clear here, is that as Moses surrendered to the teaching of Jesus, so also he surrendered to his authority and based on this surrender, we cannot possess any higher authority outside the teaching of Jesus. Let me give you an instance based on what happened in the gospel of today (Mk 1:21-28). The power of casting out demons was within the framework of Jesus preaching Minstry. The same power that enabled Jesus to drive out demons is also present in him when he preaches and teaches. Therefore, this power is in his Word, in living his word and in living our Christian life.
No wonder the second reading, tells us that we can possess this inalienable power that is attached to our Christian identity based on how we manage our state of life; single or married. Besides, the apostle is not saying that unmarried is better than the married person. Neither is he portraying that love and sex between husband and wife separate them from God. He simply posits that the single are as valued as the married. Unlike our ancestors who saw single life as abnormal and interrupting the flow of life, Paul sees it as an opportunity to be more devoted to the things of God. Moreover, whether single or married, we should not be over- engrossed in the worldly trapping of life in such a way that we abandon the word of God upon which we draw the power of our Christian identity against demonic power. Now, the crux of the message is;
If we posses the Christian identity of living the word, just like Christ in today’s gospel, we will not need many words to possess the power of commanding demond to keep quiet.
May God grants us his grace to live according to his word in order to possess his authority through Christ our Lord 🙏 Amen!