Knowing The Scriptures And Knowing Christ
January 28, 2024
Readings: Deuteronomy 18: 15-20
1 Corinthians 8:1b-13
5th Sunday After Epiphany 2024 Homily
Most of us read the Scriptures and do not fully understand what they mean. Over a period of time, man was given a means by which he could understand what God was wanting man to know. These could be found in the original scrolls which we know to be the Scriptures. If we would only pay attention to what God is trying to tell us, then we would be living a life of joy and peace. If we look back at the very beginning, we will see that Adam and Eve were living a life of contentment before the fall. God intends us to be like Him. He does not want us to be sick, He does not want us to be in poverty.
In today’s Gospel, may we go beyond just knowing the message but really understanding what God is trying to say. After 30 years of preparation, Christ now begins His ministry. He had been baptized, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and has chosen His disciples. We see Him coming to Capernaum. It was a Sabbath day, and He immediately entered the synagogue. In a community where there are 10 families, there would be a synagogue. It was a Jewish tradition for the families to meet and gather together every Sabbath day. They had to be prepared because they were there to minister to each other. In the synagogue, there was no pastor, no priest, no rabbi. Everyone had to be prepared to share what they had learned from the Scriptures. It was a place of learning and training. They studied the Torah, or the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus. Numbers and Deuteronomy. When Jesus was teaching the people, He not only touched on the Torah but gave them foresights of things to come. God has set patterns in the beginning of time and these could be found in the Torah. For instance, out of seven days in a week, there should be a day of rest. On the 50th year, it was the Jubilee. This meant that it was a year of release. What you had lost will be returned.
The people were amazed at Jesus’ teachings because He went beyond the Torah. Jesus gave them opportunities to know Him more and more. Today, we are being enslaved to modern gadgets. And the sad thing is, we are literally teaching our children to be enslaved and controlled by these gadgets. While He was teaching in the Synagogue, there was a man with demon spirits. He shouted at Christ saying, “what do you have to do with us. We know you are from God. Have you come to destroy us?” Jesus said calmly but with authority, “be still and come out of him!” And the impure spirit came out of the man and left.
Jesus shows us how to live. We need to change our attitude and be like Christ. When we come to church, we come with an attitude of giving, and not to just receive. Christ used His three years of ministry to show us how to live. The people who heard Him in the Synagogue were not only amazed at His casting out of the demons but at the instructions given to them on how to live. There is the necessity of really knowing the Scriptures so that we are not deceived by the enemy. We need to put Christ and our relationship with Him first.