February 1, 2015

It was much too frightening. Why couldn’t God send human teachers, prophets, instead? God agreed, but with a warning. The people had better listen to those teachers, because they spoke in God’s name.

That arrangement, though, had its own problems, for them and for us. How do I know this teacher is truly from God? And if the teacher is from God, are all parts of the teaching meant for me? We have the Church and scripture to help us with those questions, but still there are always a few loose ends.

            That is the powerful significance of the sentence in today’s Gospel: “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” The people knew that this Jesus was authentic—truly a teacher sent by God. They knew it by hearing him.


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