Today’s Gospel talks about recognition, or more accurately lack
of recognition. When Jesus comes to Capernaum and preaches, the people
don’t know what to think. They are amazed at his knowledge and his
apparent authority, but they do not know where the authority comes from.
They are intrigued by his words, but they don’t recognize who he is.
The people are perplexed, but the demons recognize him right away and understand
that he is a danger to them. They know who he is and that he can command
them and destroy them. The unclean spirit says right away that Jesus
is the Holy One of God who has “come to destroy us.”
But even then the people do not recognize Jesus for who he is. The
word spreads of this unusual event, but the people still do not know what
to make of it. They were expecting the messiah to be a man of might
– a king maybe or a military man. Someone who had great power and prestige.
And this man was from Nazareth, just down the road. He was the son
of a carpenter. He was just like anyone else. He didn’t look
like anything very special.
But he was. He was the holy one of God. He could command even
the unclean spirits and they were in fear of his power. They knew the
danger he was bringing them, but those who were seeking salvation didn’t
recognize it when it came.
And would we? Do we recognize God as he walks among us everyday?
Do we recognize his voice bringing us wisdom or comfort? The bad guys
know him and fear him, but shouldn’t we who seek him know him as well, and