Readings for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany

Mark 1:21-28; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Deuteronomy 18:15-20

     Who was your favorite teacher from your childhood days? What were the qualities that made her or him great? The best teachers aren’t necessarily the most fun or friendly – although that helps. Neither are they the ones who possess an encyclopedic knowledge of their subject – although that helps, too. The best teachers are those who understand that learning is a matter of the mind and the heart, and are gifted at reaching both. To that end, we have no better teacher in life than the Lord Jesus.

Israel sought wisdom from heaven. But when the LORD spoke to them in His bare divinity, they shook with fear and begged Him to stop. So the LORD spoke again, this time with a human voice – gentle, when it needed to be – so that the people could learn…and know that they were loved. (Deut 18)

Our Gospel lesson fulfills the prophecy of Moses from Deuteronomy. When Jesus starts to teach, his authority is immediately apparent. He doesn’t just offer commentary on the gospel. He embodies it. And He brings it to people, by word and deed. (Mark 1)

In the Epistle lesson, Paul warns against knowledge that is lacking in love. “Know-it-alls” often cause more trouble than good in the Church. God wants our wisdom to be tempered by humility and offered in love. (1 Cor 8)