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Friends, in today’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus came to Capernaum and entered the synagogue on a Sabbath, where he began to teach. Then it says that the “people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” The ordinary teachers would have appealed to their own teachers and authorities, and finally to Moses and the Torah, which were unassailable.

Now, what would prevent people from saying that he was just crazy? Well, watch what happens next. Into the synagogue there rushes a man with “an unclean spirit.” And he knows who Jesus is: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

But then Jesus demonstrates his authority: “‘Quiet! Come out of him!’ The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.” The claim to God’s own authority is now ratified by showing power over the spiritual realm.

And now they—and we—have to make a decision. Are we with him or are we against him? If he is who he says he is and who he demonstrates himself to be, then we have to give our lives to him.