More Galilean Tour: Mark 2:23-3:12

Day 6,
Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
‘More Galilean Tour’
Mark 2:23 – 3:12

Jesus and his growing band of disciples
is still up in Galilee
It’s the Sabbath, 
and they’re pulling heads of grain – 
It’s like chewing gum if you work it awhile – 
try it with most birdseed you use in the feeder!

Here come the religious again, scolding
No harvesting or working on the Sabbath!
What do you remember about Lord’s Day restrictions?

Jesus counters with good rabbinic gamesmanship:
David and his growing band did even worse – 
Taking the bread of the presence in the Temple…

Another aphorism is attributed to Jesus: 
Sabbath for humans, not humans for Sabbath
And Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath – 
Not rule morality authoritarianism – 
but purposive, missional ethics.

Another healing – 
like work on the Sabbath – 
by now folks are watching


He challenges them – and us – 
with a polarized polemic: 
save life or kill


They, like us, 
stay silent… 
they’ve done nothing… 
indeed, we’ve done nothing.

This healing provokes fury
among the religious – 
and the political – 

These usual enemies
conspire together
against the threat – 
of what?


The answer is the wider draw – 
from the coast, 
from the capital, 
to the lake

He’s a rock star, this one – 
his roadies and security team
get him space


But he leaves a trail of healed, 
and those desperate to be healed – 
And echoes of the unclean spirits naming him – 
and him saying “Shut up!”


One Sabbath he was going through the cornfields;
and as they made their way
his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

The Pharisees said to him,
‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’

And he said to them, 
‘Have you never read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry
and in need of food?

He entered the house of God, 
when Abiathar was high priest,
and ate the bread of the Presence,
which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat,
and he gave some to his companions.’

Then he said to them,
‘The Sabbath was made for humankind, 
and not humankind for the Sabbath;
so the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.’

Again he entered the synagogue, 
and a man was there who had a withered hand.

 They watched him
 to see whether he would cure him on the Sabbath,
so that they might accuse him.

And he said to the man who had the withered hand,
 ‘Come forward.’

Then he said to them,
‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, 
to save life or to kill?’

But they were silent.

He looked around at them with anger;
he was grieved at their hardness of heart
 and said to the man,
‘Stretch out your hand.’

He stretched it out, 
and his hand was restored.

The Pharisees went out
and immediately conspired
with the Herodians
against him, 
how to destroy him.

Jesus departed with his disciples to the lake,
and a great multitude from Galilee followed him;
hearing all that he was doing, 
they came to him in great numbers
 from Judea, 
Jerusalem,
 Idumea, 
beyond the Jordan,
and  the region around Tyre and Sidon.

He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him
because of the crowd,
so that they would not crush him; 
for he had cured many,
so that all who had diseases
pressed upon him to touch him.

Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, 
they fell down before him and shouted,
‘You are the Son of God!’

 But he sternly ordered them
 not to make him known