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. [Mark 1:21-28]
Jesus is teaching, and a man bursts into the synagogue, tormented by some mental health issue. A demon, it was called in those days.
Jesus turns and heals him, just as he will heal so many others of disease or disability.
Then he turns back to his teaching.
I’ll bet people listen a little more closely after that.
Jesus was called many things, but what about “teacher?”
When you are a teacher, you are given a tremendous amount of authority. But that’s not just the power to control. It’s the power to form, to connect, to inspire.
A good teacher notices more than just the material and the students’ questions. He notices who is sick. She pays attention to the ones who come to class hungry. He asks questions if a student appears to have been abused or neglected.
We seek out those in bondage to demons, and make it our life’s work to help cast them out.
Jesus showed us that stopping and paying attention to their needs doesn’t dilute the message of the gospel. It is the message of the gospel.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015