Jesus: the Holy One of God

Today Fr Paul again reads the Gospel from Luke (4: 31-37). We take up the story after Jesus spent the 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, went home and, as we heard yesterday, experienced the rejection of the people.

Today, in Luke, we hear the aftermath of what took place yesterday. Again, there is the issue of the identity of Jesus.  He was rejected so he travels to Capernaum, goes to the synagogue, and it is there we hear of the first healing Jesus does in Luke’s Gospel.

In reading Luke, we need to keep in mind that it is believed that Luke was, in fact, a doctor. In Luke, the description of ailments and illnesses are more graphic, almost as if written using the eyes of a doctor. In this particular episode, the man has an unclean spirit in the form of a devil. We hear the man is thrown down and goes into convulsions. There is also the note at the end, like a doctor would make, that the man was unhurt.

Despite the recent rejection of Jesus’ identity in yesterday’s Gospel, we hear today that the spirit cries out – it recognises who Jesus is – Jesus is the Holy One of God.  So in this event Jesus is recognised as human and divine.  We hear the term ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ indicating his humanness and we hear the term ‘Holy One of God’ indicating his divinity.

For our prayer today, Fr Paul invites us to reflect on these two areas of Jesus’ life. He says we might reflect and pray about the humanness of Jesus, mindful that he, like us, experiences all that it is to be human, such as rejection.  We might also spend some time reflecting on the divinity of Jesus and, as we experienced in today’s Gospel, the power and authority that divinity contains.