Showing posts from January, 2012

Reflections on the Gospel - Mark 1:21-28 - "Jesus: The Exorcist"

Read the Gospel text here: Mark 1:21-28 Jesus: The Exorcist From the very beginning of the Gospel things move quickly.  Just look at the first page of the Gospel of Mark and see how close all the headings are to one another (pew bible NT p. 27).  Beginning with the introduction we move quickly through John the Baptist, the Baptism of Jesus, the Temptations in the Wilderness, the Beginning of Jesus’ ministry, the calling of the Disciples, and finally now we have come to Jesus’ first recorded healing – the Healing of the Man with the Unclean Spirit.  The pace has been almost breathless – but as we read through this first chapter we do need to pause briefly at verses 14 & 15: … Jesus came to the Galilee proclaiming the Good News of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the Good News.”   This is what drives the subsequent episodes: the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that has come into our midst.  Ev

Reflections on the Lessons for Epiphany III - Call

Read the Gospel text here: Mark 1:14-20 Read the Jonah text here: Jonah 3:1-10 (Though you might want to read the entire book!) CALL Both of the lessons today deal with the issue of call .  In the Gospel, Jesus calls the fishermen Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John.  “Follow me,” he says, and they leave everything and follow him.  This lesson is contrasted by the lesson from the reluctant prophet Jonah, who also received a call from the Lord God: “Go!”  “And then away in the opposite way he went.”(1) It is also interesting to note that Mark makes it clear throughout the Gospel that these disciples really didn’t know what they were getting into.  They have preconceived ideas of who Jesus is and what he wants from them that turn out to be completely wrong.  One wonders if the disciples actually understood more from the beginning if they would have been so willing to leave their nets and follow.  Jonah on the other hand seems to have a pretty good idea of not only what is

Reflections on the Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

Read the Gospel text here: Matthew 2:1-12 Digging Through the Dirt By our 21 st century standards, homes in the 1 st century were much smaller, much more sparse, and the space was used very differently.   Rocks and mud were plentiful in that place so houses were built primarily with mud brick and rocks.   Most but not all 1 st century homes had a courtyard of some sort, and often animals were kept in the house as well.   But perhaps the part of the house that was most different was the roof.   Because of our relatively wet weather we have tended to build houses with gabled roofs.   The rain and, especially, the snow can more easily slide off of a gabled roof, and it helps keep the inside much dryer.   Consequently it is difficult, if not downright dangerous, to climb up on a gabled roof, so this space is not utilized for living, for the most part.   Not so in 1 st century Palestine.   First of all, in the very dry climate, with no snow to speak of, there is n