When Jesus began his public ministry he not only spoke with authority, healed the sick and cast out demons, but what he said touched the people deeply. His words rang true to their inner hearts just as Jeremiah, one of the later prophets, had predicted.
Jesus spoke with the power of the Lord! Something that had long disappeared from the land of Israel…the prophetic voice that had gone silent was speaking once again, but more powerfully than it ever had before.
In today’s Gospel it is pointed out…he was from Nazareth! The demon who speaks out was trying to put down Jesus by calling out his “backwater” home town… recalling Nathanial’s words from John’s Gospel, “could anything good ever come from Nazareth?”
But finally, the unclean spirit recognizes Jesus as “The Holy One of God”! And the people are astonished by Jesus’ authority with which he taught, and that even unclean spirits obeyed him!
But the religious leaders and the elders of the people would become fearful of Jesus and the power he exercised in word and deed. What they couldn’t see is what the “unclean spirit” was able to see: Jesus’ oneness with the Father! They could not see his power was from his identity as “The Holy One of God.”
Who are the prophetic voices we listen to today? And what are they calling us to?
Are you being called to be prophetic in word and action?
Through our baptism each one of us has been anointed to be a prophet -- to live prophetic lives. Lives that challenge the injustices of the world. Lives that challenge racism and bigotry and misogyny. We are called to live lives that heal and bring wholeness to a wounded, waring and suffering world by who and what we stand with and by who and what we stand against.
You and I, we are called to be prophets who speak out and act out on behalf of the immigrant, the refugee and the stranger. To be builders of peace and makers of justice! This is our prophetic call received at our baptism and sealed in the power of the Holy Spirit! Now is the time to live our discipleship, to claim our prophetic role in building up the Reign of God; to live and to love as the children of God, whom we truly are, and to allow that identity to shape how we live and act in the world!