31 January 2015

WHITHER AUTHORITY: FROM POWER OR FROM RELATIONSHIP?

IV SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
deuteronomy 18:15-20; 1 corinthians 7:32-35; mark 1:21-28

queen victoria and her husband, prince albert, quarrelled about something early in their marriage. albert walked out and went to his room. victoria followed, found the door locked, and began pounding on it. «who’s there?» prince albert asked. «the queen of england,» was the reply. the door remained locked.
more pounding followed. then there was a pause. and then a gently tap. «who’s there?» albert inquired. victoria replied: «your wife, albert.» albert opened the door immediately.

what opened albert’s door and heart was not the authority (the word comes from the latin «auctor» which means promoter!) that came from power and status, but the authority that came from an intimate relationship.
that is the kind of authority that JESUS had… which impressed and amazed people.

JESUS begins his public ministry by teaching in the synagogue, and by casting out an «unclean spirit» from a man. the people are astonished because he taught and healed as one having personal authority… unlike the scribes who derived their authority from their role and status.
however, the crowd cannot identify the source of this authority. the unlikely voice of the possessed man identifies the source: «i know who you are—the holy one of GOD!» after his death on the cross, another unlikely voice (the roman centurion) identifies JESUS: «this man was the SON of GOD!»
JESUS derived his authority from his intimate and personal relationship with his father.

how do i relate with others: from power or through relationship? from where do i derive my authority: from my role/status and power/prestige or from my relationship with my GOD?