THEME: MORE THAN A PROPHET
READINGS: Deuteronomy 18:15-20/ 1 Corinthians 7:32-35/ Mark 1:21-28
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Deuteronomy describes a prophet:
- He is taken from among humans;
- He listens to God’s word;
- He proclaims God’s word to his people; and
- What he says comes to pass (Deut. 18:17-20).
In the light of the above criteria, Jesus Christ is more than a prophet. This is because,
- Though Jesus was born as man, he came from above. He is, first and foremost, divine.
- Though he listens to the Father, he is the very Word of God. He is the Word without whom nothing was created and through whom everything was created (John 1:1-3).
- Being the Word of God, he speaks not like other prophets (who say: ‘thus says the Lord …’); rather, he speaks with authority (‘I say to you …’).
- And more than any other prophet, what he says comes to pass. As in the beginning, whatever God pronounced (e.g. ‘Let there be light’) came to be, so is Jesus’ word effective and powerful. The gospel reading gives us an instance: Jesus commanded the evil spirit to leave the possessed man and the result was instant (Mark1:21-28)!
Now, imagine a very wealthy king who decides to live with his very poor subjects for a while with the intention of making them permanent members of his household. Similarly, though divine, Jesus came to share in our humanity so that we might in turn share in his divinity. Indeed, the humility our divine Lord displayed in becoming man is deeper than that of the imaginary king mentioned above. Likewise, the divinity he invites us to share in is far richer than the wealth of the imaginary king and, indeed, of the whole universe.
Furthermore, since Jesus is the very Word of God, whatever he teaches is divine teaching. Whatever he teaches is the ‘medicine’ for our salvation. Fortunately for us, the substance of what he teaches has been recorded in the Bible. Let us, therefore, find time to carefully study his teachings and apply them to our lives. The New Year is about a month old, but it is not too late to add daily Bible reading to our resolutions for the year. If we have already taken it as a resolution, then let us persevere in carrying out this daily spiritual exercise. Finally, may the Spirit of God, who inspired ordinary humans to write down the divine Word, constantly renew our minds and shape our character as we study it. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis