Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way He taught them, for his word was spoken with authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by an evil spirit who shouted in a loud voice, «What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I recognize you: you are the Holy One of God». Then Jesus said to him sharply, «Be silent and leave this man!». The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him harm. Amazement seized all these people and they said to one another, «What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!». And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.
«They were astonished at the way He taught them, for his word was spoken with authority»
Fr. Joan BLADÉ i Piñol
Today, we can see how his teaching activity was Jesus' central mission of his public life. Jesus' preaching, however, was very different to others, and this surprised and amazed people. Despite the fact Jesus had not studied (cf. Jn 7:15), He, certainly, befuddled the Jews with his teachings, «for his word was spoken with authority» (Lk 4:32). His style of speech had the authority of he who knows He is the “Saint of God”.
It was precisely such authority in his speech that gave strength to his language. He used living and specific images, without any syllogisms or definitions; words and images He pulled out from the very nature or, more often than not, from the Holy Scriptures. Jesus was, no doubt, a good observer, a man close to human situations: while we can watch him teaching, we can also see him so close to people doing good to them (healing their sicknesses, driving out evil spirits, etc.). In the book of everyday life He read those experiences that, later on, He would use in his teachings. Despite this elementary and “basic” material, the Lord's word was always profound and perturbing, radically new and definite.
The greatest thing about Jesus Christ's speech was how He could combine his divine authority with the most incredible human simplicity. Both authority and simplicity were possible in Jesus thanks to his knowledge of the Father and his relation of amorous obedience with Him (cf. Mt 11:25-27). It is this especial relationship with the Father that explains that unique harmony between greatness and humility. The authority of his speech did not adjust to human parameters; there was no competition, no personal interest or glitter. It was the kind of authority manifested both by the sublimity of the word and its humility and simplicity. There was never in his lips any personal praise, haughtiness or shouting. Mansuetude, gentleness, understanding, peace, truth, light, justice..., this was the aroma surrounding the authority of his teachings.