These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.
The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because the are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The Lord is good to all
compassionate toward all his works. (R./)
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them speak of the glory of your reign,
and speak of your might o Lord,
making known to men your great deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.. (R./)
Yours is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The Lord lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down. (R./)
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, "Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, "What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!" And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.
Much of the time, life plods quietly along, routine setting the pace of each day. But Paul urges us to take a higher view of things and be in a state of ongoing conversion, so as to value the spiritual dimension of ourselves. The [merely] natural person is hardly aware of the Spirit of God. But the Spirit is there to help us be our full selves. When Paul says "we have the mind of Christ," this guiding principle is available to us too.
Even if we stubbornly cling to what is familiar, there is still hope. Just as he did for the troubled man in Capernaum, God can come into our lives to drive out whatever anxiety or fear is holding us back. Like the people in that synagogue, we listen spellbound to Jesus, for his words have the divine ring of truth. Let him speak to our heart and pour freshness into the dark reserves of our unconscious. If we feel our need, we can ask him to set us free from any addiction or compulsion that may ail us. It is through our closeness to Jesus that we can develop our full potential.
Someone asks Jesus aggressively, 'What do you want with us? Have you come to destroy us?' He did not withdraw in the face of this aggression, but instead brought healing to that disturbed person, after first commanding the demonic spirt to "Be silent, and come out of him!"
This was vintage Jesus, helping people who were in dire straits. Even as he hung from the cross, he prayed for those who had put him there, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?' He treats us more generously and lovingly than we treat him. He uses his authority not to destroy but to give life. His love and kindness to people in need shows what authentic authority looks like.