“…With Authority,” or Fake News?
Twice in today’s Gospel we are told that Jesus spoke with authority. The question of authority is more pressing than ever today. How do we know when we are dealing with a source with authority? What gives Jesus this authority, which we are told that the scribes did not have?
The word authority means “originator.” An author is the originator of a written work. To ascribe authority to Jesus is to point to his origin in God, the great original of all. Today’s Gospel passage is intriguing because not just friends, but unclean demons, recognize Jesus’ authority. When your enemy respects you, that’s something.
In today’s swirl of news and opinion, fact and innuendo, truth and falsehood, measuring authority is imperative. How do you judge the authority of those who speak and write in the public square? How do you determine which messages (and messengers) you can trust, and which are dodgy?
If we accept the authority of Jesus, how does that affect our reception of all the voices coming at us in modern life? Jesus spoke the truth, and demanded nothing less than the truth from others. Can we use the teaching and example of Jesus, whom we call Lord, as a measuring rod for the truth in God’s world? JBM