Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B 30th/31st January, 2021

This is the first of the miracles of Jesus recounted in Mark’s Gospel and it is a significant introduction to the person of Jesus and the power he possesses. Only a few verses earlier, at his baptism, Jesus had been revealed as the beloved Son of God. In this short text, Mark contrasts Jesus and the authority of his teaching with that of the scribes. Jesus teaches in such a way that he makes a deep impression on his hearers. Clearly, this is because his authority and his wisdom come from God. While his human audience may still be unclear as to the true identity of Jesus, this is not the case with his ‘other-worldly’ audience: the unclean spirits know exactly who Jesus is—the Holy One of God—and they recognise his authority and obey his command. They know that the power of the Almighty is greater than the power of the evil one.