Directly from the Source

January 31, 2021 – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:21-22)

The residents of Caperaum came to the temple, as they did every sabbath, to listen to the scribes teach. When they heard Jesus teach, they were “astonished.” Why?

It is similar to the “Telephone” game we used to play when we were kids. The first person would whisper a sentence into the ear of the next person. That person would whisper it to the next person, and so on. The last person to hear the sentence would say it out loud, and everyone would hear how much the original sentence had changed along the way.

When one of the scribes taught, he repeated what he had learned from the Rabbi under whom he had studied, putting his own spin on it. The Rabbi he had studied under repeated what his mentor had taught him, adding his own interpretation. And so on, and so on, all the way back to those who first read Scripture, the divinely inspired Word of God.

When Jesus taught, the people of Capernaum heard the Word of God in its original form, pure and unchanged.

Jesus wasn’t playing Telephone.

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