Jesus teaches in the synagogue at Capernaum, the home town of Simon Peter. The people of the town are impressed by the authority with which Jesus speaks. Every week in the synagogue, they heard the teaching of the scribes, who would give an interpretation of the Scriptures based on the opinions of other rabbis and teachers. But for Jesus, the Hebrew Scriptures are a living word from God. He teaches on his own authority, and from his own experience of God’s love and power. The words of the Scriptures come to life on his lips. No wonder his teaching makes a deep impression on the people. Even the unclean spirits recognise, with fear, Jesus’ power and authority: a power that is exercised to free those who are in the grip of evil. The kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus brought healing and hope to the people of his own time, and he brings healing and hope to us today.

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