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See Back to Galilee (2012)
to Galilee in Mark
began his mission in Galilee, according to Mark:
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a
deserted place, and there he prayed. 36
And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When
they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.”
38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may
proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”
he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and
casting out demons
After the death of John, Jesus
began his mission in Galilee, proclaiming the good news and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Mark 1. 14 He calls his
disciples, heals a man with an unclean spirit, heals Simon’s mother-in-law and
many others with demons and various diseases.
When the crowds begin to search for him, he urges his disciples to go
with him to neighboring towns so that he could do what he came to do (1.38). He
heals a leper, whom he urges to go to the priest and offer what Moses had
commanded. His mission in Galilee, nonetheless, has aroused controversy. He
teaches a forgiveness foreign to the learned Scribes and is accused of blasphemy
for saying sins are forgiven. He
has already been faulted for associating with sinners, replying that not the
well, but the sick, need a physician. He calls his disciples to task for not
fasting, and Jesus, with his eyes fixed on the kingdom itself, insists, “The
wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long
as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will
fast on that day.” (2.18). One
recalls, “Fasting was undertaken for personal reasons (Psalm 25.13), as a
national act in the face of calamity (Joel 2.15), or as a periodic liturgical
observance (Zechariah 8.19); normally it involved abstinence from all food to
show dependence on God and submission to his will” (Oxford Companion).
The religious Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Thursdays.
Jesus uses the metaphor of the wedding here to indicate that the
disciples, unlike the Pharisees in their present understanding, have the kingdom
of God with them: “Both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament view marriage
as an image of the relationship between God and his people. It is therefore
appropriate that the prophets, Jesus, and the book of Revelation use the imagery
of weddings to describe the end of time, when God will be united with his people
forever (Isaiah 25.6–9; Matthew 22.1–13; Matthew 25.1–12; Revelation
18.6–10; Revelation 21.1–4).”Gordon
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters † are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
the sake of that message, however, he commits to enduring the separation.
Not until chapter 6 in Mark, however, will Jesus shoulder the full
consequences of that rejection and proceed to take his mission to Jerusalem
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were
astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom
that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!
3 Is not this the
carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and
Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at
him. 4 Then Jesus said to them,
“Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own
kin, and in their own house.” 5
And he could do no deed of power
there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
he was amazed at their unbelief.
proclaims human beings have a spiritual obligation for accepting responsibility
in the evolving kingdom; he urges that emphasis be placed upon the spiritual, but
limited human beings continue to behold only the physical and are wowed by the
healings. As Jesus speaks, he begins to be understood on two levels:
he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God,
but for those outside, everything comes in parables;
a few will hear the word and bear fruit to it; only a few will behold the light
manifest. Only a few will recognize the kingdom come in the seed already sown,
the mustard seed which is smallest of all plants, growing up into the greatest
of all shrubs. Still, some among the crowds, a few heard and experienced the
kingdom realized, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a
dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why
are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
About Jesus, the crowds separated, "
crowds press about him, nonetheless, and occasional instances of faith render
the body whole. Jesus Jesus raises the daughter of the leader of the synagogue from the
point of death, and he heals a hemorrhagic woman.
Nonetheless, Jesus in Nazareth in Mark is rejected, and Jesus begins his
long and fateful trek to the Davidic city, Jerusalem, an event that will not
happen until chapter eleven.
They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of
them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve
aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33
saying, “See, we are going up to
Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the
scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the
they will mock him, and spit upon
him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.”
he explains that human laws (divorce) protect human beings from the hardness of
their own hearts, blesses the humble and believing children, understands the
plight of the rich in its unwillingness to be separated from material goods,
empathizes with the human struggle to be first, and calls again for a faith that
restores sight. He also explaind that once he is in Jerusalem, he will be
killed but after a sufficient time, rise again. In short, Jesus proclaims spirit
victorious over body. At this point, Mark (chapter 11) introduces
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.