Lectionary Year B
February 9, 2003
Mark 1:29-39

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological center around which this passage flows is Jesus who heals, prays and moves on. He does lots of healing, He prays alone early in the morning and He senses it is time to move on ahead, as was His declared mission. Other major concerns include the four disciples named, Simon's mother-in-law and that she served them and the people who came and those who brought the many sick and sought Him further. After these observations, there remain a few slightly less significant elements that include Simon's mother-in-law's illness and cure, Jesus' forbidding the demons' speaking since they knew Him and His going throughout Galilee.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 29 And immediately from the synagogue they went out (Jesus and James and John) and came to the house of (the brothers) Simon and Andrew. 30 But Simon's mother-in-law was law sick (in bed) with a fever, and immediately they tell Him about her condition. 31 And He having come raised her up taking her by the hand; and the fever left her, and she began serving them. 32 But it was getting late, when the sun was setting, they brought to Him every kind of the sick and demon possessed; 33 and the whole of the city gathered together at the door. 34 And He healed many of the sick of various kinds of illnesses/diseases and He cast out many demons and He disallowing them (the demons) to speak, because they knew Him. 35 And very early even before daylight He arose and went away to a lonely place where He was praying. 36 And searched for Him Simon and those with him, 37 and they found Him and they said to Him, "Many seek You." 38 And He said to them, "We should be going elsewhere into the neighboring towns, so that also there I should preach, for this reason I left/came out." 39 And He came out preaching in their synagogues to all of Galilee and the evil demons He went casting out.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) One of the reasons the church is not a "Haven for Saints" rather a "Hospital for Sinners" is that we are all sick. We all suffer from a variety illnesses. We all have maladies galore. We need healing. We need to be made whole again. Jesus is our Healer par excellence. He makes a house call. He comes to us where we are infirmed. We are fortunate to belong to a congregation, "a believing community, not static but dynamic, . . . like ancient Israel and the early church, continually changing and continually evolving, ever moving from one cultural and political context to another, even though imperceptively perhaps at times. Yet, it is far from certain that those congregations enjoy a self understanding based on responsible dialogue with scripture . . ." writes James A. Sanders in The Hermeneutical Quest. We can dialogue with this text to discern how we are ailing and how Christ restores us to health.

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