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Summary: Among the melee of voices calling for our attention, which one will you listen to?

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Jesus – a man with authority

I would like to focus on one verse this morning from our Gospel reading

22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

Interestingly, there is no record of what Jesus said at that time.

Words - language – these are things that separates us from rest of creation.

And what we say can – and how we say it – can really make a difference. For good or for bad

What Jesus said made people wonder at his teaching and his authority

He didn’t preach like the other rabbis who quoted rabbinical sources to support the points they were making.

Jesus spoke with authority because he heard directly from his Father.

I wonder if you were as surprised as I was when I read in our Gospel reading that the demon possessed man was found in the Synagaogue –or in our parlance in Church.

But on reflection, going to Church in itself is no guarantee that you are really listening to God.

Story: Somethime ago, I read about US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Apparently President Roosevelt got tired of the same inane small talk and smiles that he had to put up with at the innumerable White House receptions that he attended.

So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was really listening to what he was saying.

As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed that big smile and said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning."

People would automatically respond with comments like "How lovely!" or "Just continue your great work!"

Nobody listened to what he was actually saying, except for one foreign diplomat.

When the president said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning," the diplomat responded softly, "I’m sure she had it coming."

In contrast, people in Jesus day listened to what he said – and through what he said recognised that he has a natural authority that the religious leaders didn’t have

Jesus as confronted with a man in Church who had an impure spirit.

Because he was in such a close relationship with his heavenly Father, he simply dealt with the problem with seven short words.

We live in a world of words.

Words are all about us, words on TV, words on the radio, spoken words by family and friends, words printed in newspapers, books, on computers and words on the Internet.

Often words do little more than tickle our imagination

However, in our Gospel reading, when Jesus speaks he brings healing and

27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” (Mk 1:27)

Jesus relationship with his heavenly Father was the authority for what he did.

In Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus explained it like this

"It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Mt 4:4)

The word "comes from" speaks of a continuing action.

It isn’t a once and for all.

God speaks today and we need to learn to listen.

There are two Greek words translated as "word" in the Bible.

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