"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Mark 10:32-52 Commentary
by N. Clayton Croy
The narrative of Mark, like that of all the gospels, climaxes with the cross and resurrection, but we should not speed toward the conclusion with such haste that we overlook the gospel’s centerpiece, the pivot around which the revelation of the central character turns.
That centerpiece is Mark 8:22-10:52. It is framed by two healings of blind men, the only such healings in Mark, and within that frame is a threefold prediction of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Jesus encounters the first blind man in Bethsaida, just north of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 8:22-26). Perhaps the most memorable part of that story is the two-phase healing of the man. A first touch from Jesus results in blurry vision: the man sees people, but they look like trees walking. A second application of Jesus’ hands yields clear vision. Anyone who has had an eye exam knows the refrain, “Better first? Better second?” when the optometrist is clicking through various lenses to find the best correction for one’s vision. The blind man of Bethsaida opted for “Better second.”
Immediately following the healing, the scene shifts to Caesarea Philippi and Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah. A story of sight is followed by a story of insight; ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL213: Bartimaeus Healed
February 21, 2016
This podcast discusses Mark 10:32-52, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 21, 2016.