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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mark 9:2-50

Mark 9:2-50
Another baptism event: Jesus is transfigured and God speaks. A monumental event that plays vivid with the imagination (and identity of Jesus) but which plays no role in the gospel. It is just an affirmation of what we have already seen. Neither the Disciples nor the author of Mark, make a big deal about what it means for Jesus, although he does seem to have an attitude shift. Jesus seems to be more impatient with the disciples, and others. It is as if he has been handed his marching orders and no one else seems to understand what that means. “Oh unbelieving generation,” “if you can?” Terms of frustration directed at other’s inability to make sense out of Jesus simple teachings.

And then Jesus explains his marching orders. He will be betrayed, killed and rise form the grave. The disciples, after seeing and hearing so much, still do not understand. Who they think Jesus is, the Greatest, is not who Jesus shows them he is, a servant healing others, teaching the truth of love and peace. And now he is going to his death. That kind of disconnect has to create a certain amount of friction and frustration. Students who are so preoccupied with their own perceptions and expectations cannot grasp the simple message of the teacher.

The disciples, who cannot cast out demons, act as religious leaders and forbid others from doing it. Jesus corrects them. Any in the name of Christ are all part of the same family, a house divided... But those who cause stumbling in the believer are not part of the family and need to be cast out. It is better to have an incomplete body then one that causes harm to it members. Peace is the hallmark of a united body and family.

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