Saturday, July 9, 2011

Authentic Authority

Mark 1:27
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching - and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and the obey him."

Made popular in the 1970s, the phrase, "Question Authority", was a reaction to government leadership that claimed to right to control, command and determine the paths our lives would take, regardless of personal choice or opinion. This adage, for many, is still valid today. A preponderance of Americans view the political status quo as hypocritical, promising on thing to constituents yet doing another. Once in office, it seems, the exhilarating enticement of power erases the memory of being elected to serve, not dominate. Such duplicitous behaviors earn people's distrust and disgust; the representatives may have authority, but it is in no way authentic.

Not so the authority with which Jesus taught and the crowds, hanging eagerly onto His every word, recognized immediately. Unlike the scribes and Pharasees who told the people what to do, yet did not, themselves, adhere to the same rules, Jesus' words and character are inseparable. To quote Father Joseph Pellegrino (, "He didn't just speak the truth, he was Truth Incarnate." His authority and God's are one in the same. It is because Jesus is the Son of God that demons name Him, fear Him, and are cast out of their victims by Him. His is THE authentic authority. It never needs to be questioned.

Psalms 20, 21:1-7 (8-14) or 110:1-5 (6-7), 116, 117
1 Samuel 17:31-49
Acts 11:1-18
Mark 1:14-28

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