Saturday, September 13, 2008

Power on behalf of the over-powered

I'm finding James Edwards' commentary on Mark's Gospel to be excellent. Here is what he has to say in conclusion to Mark 1.21-28, Mark's narrative of Jesus' authority on display in the synagogue in Capernaum:
The initial report about Jesus from the synagogue in Capernaum is not simply of a victory of the Holy One of God over bent and evil forces, as though two chess players were manipulating pawns on the board for their own advantage. Jesus' defeat of the “strong man” (Mark 3.27) is not at the expense of Satan's victims but on their behalf. Not only are unclean spirits expelled, but broken people are restored to health and wholeness and to the possibility of restoration with their Creator, in whose image they are made. The exousia [Greek, means 'authority', 'power'] of Jesus is astonishing not as a display of Jesus' grandeur but as a power of redemption for captives.
I think the Evangelist Peter would be happy with Edwards' concluding statements. They seem to be in agreement with Peter's own attempt to summarize much of the life of Christ:
...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (Acts 10.38)

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