Sunday 07 June 2015

Bible Book:

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins.” (v. 28)

Mark 3:20-35 Sunday 7 June 2015

Psalm: Psalm 130


Mark is the youngest Gospel writer of the shortest of the fourGospels. The chronology of events as Mark records them is a littlehaphazard, not running parallel with the other Gospels in theearlier sections. The background to today's passage is the call ofthe disciples and some of the early healing miracles, which causedgreat crowds to follow him. Christ has his family and disciplesaround him. And because word has travelled about some of Christ'sactivities, the Scribes are also present observing andcommenting.

Perhaps Christ is a little bemused that so early in his visibleministry his accusers are already gossiping so, not heeding hisfamily's request to tone it down, he goes outdoors to meet hisantagonists and gently calls them to him. In the way Mark writes Ican almost hear Christ saying, "Come along all of you let's sitdown and sort out our problems together!"

These are the sort of problems that often beset us today.Someone new comes on the scene and behaves in a way that isunusual, says things that are contrary to what has been alwaysunderstood and thus causes feelings of uncertainty. And what do wedo? Well the easy thing to do is to put labels on that person, putthem into a kind of box that keeps them at a safe distance so thatwe don't have to understand what they are saying or doing.

Sensing that the gathered crowds are feeling threatened, Christgoes out to meet them and gently shows them that if he were Satan,as he was accused of being (verse 22), then how could he cast Satanout of himself (verse 23)? He continues by holding up before thecrowd circumstances where divisions weaken people and institutions(verse 24-25).

It is not difficult to look out at our society and findsituations where the stranger has been isolated and considered athreat, and where new ideas are misinterpreted. Even in the Church,strangers are not always welcome and new ideas are sometimesthought to be unchristian. As the gathered company adopts positionsto defend themselves from this new 'invasion', the society beginsto break down or individuals are hurt or even broken.

Brokenness brought about by our own levels of distrust is whatChrist came to overcome, to heal us where we feel broken and toheal communities where they feel kept apart.

To Ponder

  • Where have you been when someone new has sought to join yourcommunity? With the ones who question or have you been prepared tolisten and welcome?
  • What do you learn about yourself as you reflect on thesecircumstances?
  • Moments of healing can also be times of personal growth. As yourecall times when you have felt whole again, consider what newinsights the experience has offered you.


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