Periodically, there has been a show on TV, Kids Say The Darnedest Things. By the time I saw it, it was no longer the original host, but some of the same conundrums. The children would sit on their chairs and the host would ask questions, trying to elicit funny responses. Sometimes the kids were shy, other times they would ramble. Every so often a child would say something so profound the host would have to stop and collect his bearings before he could continue with the show. I have seen many a children's sermon that becomes a similar game of "Stump the Pastor" where the pastor asks questions, trying to get a certain answer, but the children race ahead to the point of the lesson, leaving the pastor in the dust.
After once such occurrence, the pastor joked that the child who had such a prophetic reply would be delivering the sermons from now on. Talk about authority!
In a world of sound-bites, tweets, slogans and jingles, the voices of the prophets are drowned out in waves of hate and misdirection. We are surrounded and bombarded by voices that declare their own power and try to silence dissent. But those loud voices declaring their own authority, ring with fear when they are challenged by ideas and movements they know are God's will of love. In both cases the voice is loud, in both cases it tries to subdue another. When I read the story of Jesus teaching in Capernaum, casting out the unclean spirit, I hear the bullish voice of the spirit lashing out at Jesus, attempting to make him stop teaching by frightening him.
But what does Jesus do?
Our savior teaches us to stand up to bullies, even if we cannot cast out demons.