Good News All the Way
A blog by Rich Harter
Director of Evangelization
Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Amazing things happen when Jesus speaks!
Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
After he left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Messiah.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4: 31-44)
There is no doubt that words have power. We all learned the childhood jingle: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” And we all learned very quickly that these words are the farthest thing from the truth. Demeaning words do hurt and often result in wounds far deeper and more lasting than those caused by sticks or stones. Words can and do cut to the quick of our well-being.
Of course words are equally powerful when used in the direction of the good. They can inspire heroism, foster belief, ignite creativity, nurture non-violence, and engender compassion. One single well-placed word of love can melt our hearts. Unfortunately, it seems that we need to hear at least ten words of affirmation to counteract just one word of hurt. The power held in negative words is clearly far greater.
But the words of greatest power and import are the words of Jesus. He is the Divine Logos, the Holy Word of God. So when he speaks, astonishing things happen! Jesus speaks with authority and power to rebuke demons, fevers, and a variety of unclean spirits. He proclaims the Good News of the Kingdom of God and his words are boldly efficacious. What he speaks comes to be through his act of speaking it.
Jesus is the Good News who speaks Good News which creates Good News. Now that is power! We need to connect with that power for the journey of faith and discipleship. The words of Jesus call us, teach us, challenge us, convert us, send us, and strengthen us. And whatever he speaks inevitably happens. Jesus is the power we need for Good News discipleship. We need to completely immerse ourselves in his powerful words.
Join the Discipleship Conversation:
Which words of Jesus are most powerful for you?
How do you stay connected to the words of Jesus?
How are the words of Jesus calling you to discipleship?