Epistles of Thomas

September 25, 2008

Mark 4-6

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 13:42

It would have been interesting wandering around with Jesus trying to figure out what he was talking about in his parables (assuming I knew Aramaic!). The parables were definitely memorable as demonstrated by the fact that they have come down to us. It is also apparent that they were not always as helpful as we think parables should be. “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything” (4:33f).

Some scholars talk about the Messianic secret in Mark (esp. 8:27-30) but if this is so then 5:18-20 is strange. In contrast to other occasions we have read so far in Matthew and Mark, on this occasion Jesus commanded the healed man to tell others about what happened. Moreover, this man is not from a Jewish area, but from the Decapolis.
“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed” (5:18-20).

Following this one of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came and sought healing for his daughter (5:22ff). They were interrupted by a woman who sought healing and then messengers said that the daughter was dead. Jesus was not deterred but spoke to her “Talitha koum” and raised her up (5:41). It is interesting that on occasions like this the gospel writers chose to record his exact Aramaic words. It is also clear that not all Jewish leaders opposed him…especially if they needed something from him?

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