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Archive for the ‘Mark’ Category

The phone rang. “Hello, this is John Mark.”

“Hi, JM. This is Simon Peter.”

“Oh, hello, Mr. Rock,” said Mark. “What can I do for you?”

“Well, JM” said Peter, “I’ve been very impressed by your recent essays in the New Jew Review, especially your series on David as the anointed one, pointing to our Lord Jesus. Some of what you’ve been writing about dovetails, if I may use the word, with what some of us have been hearing from the Spirit.”

“New prophecies?” asked Mark.

“No. What I meant was the way the Spirit has been leading our conversations. JM, Agrippa is becoming intolerable. The man is scum, but bears the title of `king’ thanks to that loony Caesar Littlebooties; and now that old pseudo-philosopher Claudius has added Judea and Samaria to Galilee and given it all to him. He thinks he’s Herod the Great reborn.

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“. . . and just when are you guys going to live up to your Sons of Thunder reputation? Huh? A lot of us are wondering about you two.” With that, the young man got up, climbed down the ladder, and stalked up the street toward the old city.

Jacob turned from watching the man and looked at his brother. This was not the first time he saw that expression on Johanan’s face. What was it? Bewilderment mixed with sadness maybe, but then too a hint of fear. Jacob empathized. For months now they had been hearing similar angry speeches. The younger men especially were given to reacting to the persecution with a show of strength, even force. Every apostle in Jerusalem has been approached with similar proposals. But now the situation appeared to have gotten worse. This man reported on activity that crossed the line. He actually urged them to join with the resistance.

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Arising Early (Mark 1:35-39)

Mark likes to play with the words for resurrection. Again and again in his Gospel, Mark tells us how Jesus raised up the people He healed or how they arose. He does not need to mention their posture, but he chooses to do so, emphasizing their rising. And the terms he uses are the terms associated in this Gospel with Jesus’ own resurrection.

On a first reading, these words may not jump out at us. But by the time we come to the raising of Jairus’s daughter and certainly by the time Jesus rises at the end of the Gospel, we should be able to see what Mark has been doing all along.

His Gospel is like a mystery novel. When you come to the end and you see what all the clues were leading up to, you can go back and read the book again and recognize the clues for what they are. And so, after finishing Mark’s Gospel, we can go back and read it again with the final scene in mind and see all the ways in which Jesus’ healings and the ways in which people rise or are raised foreshadow what will happen to Jesus and what will happen to those who belong to Him.

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