Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Year: Mark 6-7 for Oct 22

The huge extent and impact of the ministry of Christ in Mark 6-7 contrasts with the lacuna of Nazareth also described here (6:6).

(Matthew 13:53 - 15:31 and Luke 9:1-17 are in sequence with Mark 6-7, when we view them "synoptically.")

The Lord's ministry, a secular viewpoint might coin it about these chapters, seems charmed. Jesus is not the only person whose popularity skyrockets. Every day and every culture can display those whose popularity skyrockets. In what way does the Lord's ministry interact with this environment? In the last chapter we saw that Jesus gave strict orders "that no one should know" about Jairus's daughter being raised up (5:43). In our chapters today, the Lord takes the disciples to a secluded place for rest (6:31-32). It doesn't last. Crowds come and come, running (6:33), pleading for the smallest contact (6:36). So the feeding of the five thousand (6:33-44) was originally supposed to have been a retreat.

Similarly, the sending of the twelve in 6:7-13: Jesus tells the disciples not to prepare in the slightest any more than the preparation for a part of one day; that is what He instructed them to do (6:8-12). Why? In this gospel, we put two and two together again. We must conclude that Mark does not describe Jesus's ministry as a manipulation for greatness of effect. He tells those He has healed to keep quiet, giving glory to God in their locality (1:44; 5:19). The demons are silenced (3:12). He leaves places in which His reputation is spreading (1:38). In the teaching, the kingdom of heaven starts as the smallest seed (4:30ff). And in the enigmatic statement, often repeated in the gospels, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (4:19; 4:23) there is an invitation, based on the existing condition. Jesus is not ordering loudspeakers.

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