As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, the central focus of Mark’s gospel is that of discipleship. Jesus is the teacher, the person of authority and power and the disciples are to learn from him how to use this influence properly.
For the Israelite people, Moses was the go-to guy for the entire nation. He was the lawgiver, the argument decider, the meal supplier, not to mention the direct mediator between God and the people. Just before he passed all this on, Moses predicted the arrival of a profit like himself – the Messiah. This anticipated one became the Teaching of Righteousness who aroused a considerable amount of curiosity.
Jesus understood the proper use of authority he used it to fight sickness, demons, ignorance and sin. Jesus knew when it was time to “correct” an individual or simply offer mercy and forgiveness. Sometimes both were required. Jesus’ announcement of the Good News drew followers – disciples of various depths of commitment to the project!
Sooner or later all of us find ourselves in position of authority. Some are in public office, church leadership, teachers, heads of task forces. Some will be parents, doctors, coaches, guidance counsellors, older siblings or mentors. Sometimes we give advice because we seem wiser than another. In all of this of course, the basis is TRUST. Authority is the right to be listened to by others – power is the influence one truly has in the position.
Let us continue to entrust ourselves to the power of Jesus’ Good News.