"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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Jesus Heals and Teaches
Mark 2:1-22 Commentary
by Angela Dienhart Hancock
Sometimes it is illuminating to read backwards.
This section of the gospel of Mark ends with an argument about fasting. Before that, skeptics raise two big questions: Who is Jesus to declare sins are forgiven, something only God can do? and why does he break bread with the traitors and law-breakers? When we get to the fasting conflict, the skeptics address Jesus directly: “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”
In response to each question Jesus has things to say, clever things, mysterious things. But none as cryptic as the three micro-parables Jesus lays down when asked about fasting. Instead of responding directly, Jesus first invites his inquisitors into a thought-experiment: Nobody fasts at a wedding, right? Not while the bridegroom is right there. Very inappropriate.
I imagine this would elicit general agreement, then as now. But then things take a strange turn. Apparently this is no ordinary wedding, since at some point in the festivities, the bridegroom ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 391: Jesus Heals and Teaches
January 12, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Jan. 12, 2020, (Jesus Heals and Teaches) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.