Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Reading for December 19th

Read Mark 3.1-6 (Mt 12.9-14; Lk 6.6-11) Sabbath healing.
Rabbinic law mandates that preservation of life overrules all commandments ("Mitzvoth").
In verse 5 Jesus does not touch the man and therefore cannot be charged with working.
In verse 6 Herodians are connected with the royal family; Herod Antipas has been
foreshadowed as an enemy (1.14).
Comments or Questions...

Monday, December 10, 2018

Reading for December 18th

Read Mark 2.23-28 (Mt 12.1-8; Lk 6.1-5) Lord of the sabbath.
It is unlikely Pharises spied on people in grain fields; the complaint against the disciples,
but not Jesus, suggests conflicts between church and synagogue.
In verse 25 citing scripture to interpret scripture is typical of Jesus', and rabbinic, teaching.
Abiathar's father Ahimelech was high priest when David ate consecrated bread
(1 Sam 21.1-6; 2 Sam 15.35).
In verse 27 also a rabinic teaching.
Comments or Questions...

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Reading for December 17th

Read Mark 2.18-22 (Mt 9.14-17; Lk 5.33-39) New practices.
Although John acknowledged Jesus' worthiness, he retained his own disciples.
Fasting, a traditional form of Jewish piety, is adopted by Jesus' followers after the crucifixion (2.20).
In verse 19 bridegroom and wedding imagery suggest times of exceptional joy.
In verses 21-22 Jesus' gospel represents the new wine; neither old nor new teachings are lost.
Comments or Questions...

Friday, December 7, 2018

Reading for December 16th

Read Mark 2.13-17 (Mt 9.9-13; Lk 5.27-32) Tax collectors and sinners.
Levi is called Matthew in Mt 9.9.
Tax collectors were despised as Roman collaborators and extortionists.
Sinners are those who deliberately place themselves apart from observance of Torah;
Mark does not see all people as in a sinful state.
In verse 16 Pharisees were a branch of Judaism dedicated to interpreting biblical law, likely including the extension of the sanctity of the Temple to the home (including the table); rivals of the early followers of Jesus, they are frequently negatively depicted in Christian texts.
Comments or Questions...

Reading for December 15th

Read Mark 1.40-2.12. 40-44 (Mt 8.2-4; Lk 5.12-14) The leper.
Leprosy referred to a variety of skin diseases; clean indicates both healing and ritual purity required for re-entry into society.
Only priests could pronounce lepers clean; the leper does not obey Jesus' commands either for silence or for priestly pronouncement.
In verse 45 Jesus' popularity as a healer interferes with his preaching.
In verses 2.1-12 (Mt 9.1-8; Lk 5.17-26) The paralytic.
In verse 5 granting forgiveness of sins was a divine prerogative.
In verse 9 the saying appears in a different context in Jn 5.8.
In verse 10 the title Son of Man has both human ("mortal") (Ezek 37.3) and superhuman
(Dan 7.13-14, 1 Enoch 37-71) connotations.
Enigmatic like the parables, the title requires hearers to determine the meaning for themselves.
Comments or Questions...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Reading for December 14th

Read Mark 1.29-39. 30-31 (Mt 8.14-15; Lk 4.38-39) Simon's mother-in-law.
His wife is not mentioned.
In verse 31 serve is from the Greek "Diakonein," from which we get the term "deacon."
In verses 32-39 (Mt 8.16-17; Lk 4.40-41) Galilean mission.
In verse 32 Sabbath ends at sundown.
In verse 35 Jesus frequently withdraws for prayer.
In verse 39 Jesus continues to teach and heal in synagogues.
Comments or Questions...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Reading for December 13th

Read Mark 1.16-28. 16-20 (Mt 4.18-22; Lk 5.1-11; Jn 1.35-42). The First Disciples.
Simon will be nicknamed "Peter" or "rock" (3.16).
The four disciples are not peasants but boat owners from Capernaum, a mid-sized Calilean city.
The Gospels never mention the larger cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias,
although Sepphoris is just a few miles from Nazareth.
The Sea of Galilee is also known as the Sea of Tiberias and Lake Gennesaret.
In verses 21-29 (Lk 4.33-37) The Capernaum synagogue.
Synagogues are places of worship and assembly; visitors were welcome to teach.
In verse 22 Scribes, trained in interpretation of Torah, cited their teachers ("in the name of ...");
Jesus speaks on his own authority.
In verses 24-25 demons recognize Jesus, but his disciples do not (3.11; 5.6-7).
Be silent begins the messianic secret (see sidebar above, "The Messianic Secret").
Comments or Questions...