In today’s Gospel from Luke, Jesus is teaching in Capernaum on the Sabbath and the people are astonished because “he spoke with authority.” (A similar phrase appears in Mark’s Gospel, where we are told that Jesus taught “as one having authority.”) Later in the same Gospel, Jesus heals a man suffering from the spriit of an unclean demon. After he does, the people say to each other in amazement that Jesus commaned the unclean spirit “with authority and power.” Those words always strike me.
That word “authority,” I think means something different – and much more important – than simply having a position of authority. Rather, I think what the Gospel writers were trying to convey was that there was an authenticity and integrity to Jesus. His power and authority came, not from any position, but from the fact that He spoke and acted out of a truth written on his heart.
We are all called to live our lives as Christians with the same integrity and authenticity as Jesus did….called to know the truth written in our hearts and to live out of that truth at all times. That is not always easy for us to do, but Jesus asks nothing less of us than that.