Aug. 30, 2016

"I know who you are: the Holy One of God"

"And his teaching made a deep impression on them because his word carried authority" (Lk.4:32).

Authority means power, right to control, command or determine. It means power to do something. Every authority also has a source. In the case of Jesus, he is the Son of God. He is the incarnate Word of the Father. His authority comes from God. A few times, the Jews questioned this authority when they felt threatened by his works. They asked him, "What authority have you for acting like this?" Or who gave you authority to act like this?" (Mk.11:28). Jesus would normally not answer such questions but rather let his authority manifest in his works and actions. Force authorities always feel threatened by the presence of Jesus.

At the beginning of his minstry, however, Jesus declared, "The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me..." (Lk.4:18). This was the source of his authority, the mandate given to him to preach the good news, proclaim liberty, free the blind, the oppressed, heal the sick and the afflicted. At the end of his mission, he sent the disciples out with the words, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Matt.28:18-19).

It is this authority that we see in the healing of the demonic at Capernaum in today's gospel. The man possessed by unclean spirit cannot withstand Jesus' authority. He recognizes him and exclaims, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are the Holy One of God" (Lk.4:34). Jesus is indeed the Holy One of God. He has the authority over unclean spirits. "He gives orders to unclean spirits, to evil forces, with authority and power and they obey his words".

We need to recognize the authority of Jesus, an authority he has given to his followers. It is an authority that comes from his name. The disciples come back to Jesus and say, "even the devils submit to us when we use your name". He replies, "I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Look, I have given you power to tread down serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you" (Lk.10:17-19). Peter and John understood this authority. Peter says to the lame man, "I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!" (Acts3:4-6). And scripture says, "For all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved" (Acts4:12).

The world today needs to recognize the authority of Jesus. It is not like the authority of world leaders. It is authority from God. It is not authority that suppresses others, it is rather authority that liberates. Families need to recognize this authority.  Parents need to recognize this authority. That is one major reason why homes have to be blessed. Homes who consecrate themselves to the authority of Jesus have maximum security over evil forces. Such families dedicate themselves to the "Way, Truth and Life" that guarantees salvation. It is important to rely on Jesus and on his authority. Do not be deceived by worldly pleasures and material possessions. Do not rely on false authorities.

Parents, rely on the authority of Jesus to save your children and your family. Claim his authority and pray in his name. Use the name of Jesus to invoke blessings on your children. Use Jesus' name to delare healing and freedom in your family. Use the name Jesus to invoke protection over your loved ones. Share the word of God with your family because his word carries authority. It is an authority he has given to you, you only need to use it if you believe. Tell Jesus, "I know who you are: the Holy One of God"