February 16, 2018
Home for a break,
to the fisher-folks’ home –
how are they welcome,
given the boys’ abandonment of the boats?
Simon’s mother-in-law is sick –
(so Simon abandoned at least in-laws,
likely his wife, as well as the boat,
to follow itinerant Jesus?)
Jesus heals her –
she resumes serving them
(How’s the gender politics of that?)
We are all healed, we all serve.
Word gets out,
for exorcism and healing –
not for learning or opposition?
How are you doing
with all this miraculous action?
Where’s the teaching content?
Jesus retreats to a quiet place –
early before dawn
Wonder what he was praying about, and how?
The disciples come to roust him
for more busyness.
Let’s leave town –
start the tour,
like a rock star or book promotion!
What’s Mark’s Jesus proclaiming?
‘It’s near, now’
teaching in ‘their’ synagogues:
Worlds are colliding already…
Off to his version of ‘business as usual’ –
In towns around Galilee
There are more words about healing,
Changing people, exorcizing demons –
Who know him, so he silences them
He heals a leper –
crucially, he chooses to heal the leper –
Then says go follow Torah,
respect the temple system
And don’t tell anybody!
Mark’s ‘Messianic Secret’
You can’t come part way out of a closet…
the leper talks – Jesus is mobbed –
a rock star in Galilee…
he stays out in the country,
but they come out to find him.
As soon as they left the synagogue,
they entered the house of Simon and Andrew,
with James and John.
Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever,
and they told him about her at once.
He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up.
Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sunset,
they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.
And the whole city was gathered around the door.
And he cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and cast out many demons;
and he would not permit the demons to speak,
because they knew him.
In the morning, while it was still very dark,
he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
And Simon and his companions hunted for him.
When they found him, they said to him,
‘Everyone is searching for you.’
‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns,
so that I may proclaim the message there also;
for that is what I came out to do.’
And he went throughout Galilee,
proclaiming the message in their synagogues
and casting out demons.
A leper came to him begging him,
and kneeling he said to him,
‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’
Moved with pity,
Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him,
and said to him,
‘I do choose. Be made clean!’
Immediately the leprosy left him,
and he was made clean.
After sternly warning him
he sent him away at once,
saying to him,
‘See that you say nothing to anyone;
but go, show yourself to the priest,
and offer for your cleansing
what Moses commanded,
as a testimony to them.’
But he went out and began to proclaim it freely,
and to spread the word,
so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly,
but stayed out in the country;
and people came to him from every quarter.