15 January 2011

Mark 3-4

At the opening of today's reading, Jesus challenges the assumptions that the religious leaders of his day hold dear - "do no work on the Sabbath". They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, but he went right ahead and healed the man with the shriveled hand. He challenged them as to "which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? But [the Pharisees] remained silent" (3.4). According to Jesus there is only one answer to this question, but his answer angers the PTBs and angering the PTBs usually never turns out well for the non-PTBs.

Mark also includes the "Parable of the Sower" (see my thoughts from Matthew's account), but his placement of the explanation immediately following the parable keeps the reader engaged with the story and drives home the point he is making.

Mark 4 has several agricultural parables [Sower (1-20); Growing Seed (26-29); and Mustard Seed (30-32)] in it, but small note in verse 34 shows that Jesus spoke many things in parables to everyone AND he explains everything to the disciples when they are alone. How often do we hear a word from God in the midst of a crowd, but don't receive an explanation until we are alone with God?

What verse(s) stuck out the most to you in Mark 3-4?

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