The Gospel of Mark – Chapter 5

This week we are reading through Mark 5-6.  Mark 5 has three stories of healing – moving from unclean to clean – and restoration to society – spiritually, physically, and eternally.  Mark introduces the Gerasene demonic as possessed by unclean spirits, naked and living in the tombs.  After his encounter with Jesus, he comes into his right mind, clothed, and returns to the city.  Jesus then encounters the hemorrhagic woman, whose 12-year discharge makes her unclean under the law (Lev. 15:25-28).  Once more, Jesus cleans and restores her. The chapter ends with the death of Jairus’s 12-year-old daughter and Jesus bringing her back to life.  As we have discussed over the past several weeks, Mark isn’t a reporter of facts but a theologian; he is not writing history so much as crafting an argument.  Therefore, as you read through Chapter 5, think about why Mark links these stories together.  Are these stories related to the teachings on the parables and the calming of the sea in chapter 4? Why does Mark insert the story of the hemorrhagic woman within the story of raising Jairus’ daughter? What theological point is Mark drawing our attention to?

For Tuesday, please read Kermode’s discussion of this chapter in The Genesis of Secrecy (pp.131-37) and Johnson’s discussion in The Writings of the New Testament (p.173).

Dinner is at 6.  The menu is Oktoberfest. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.

PARKING – Our next-door neighbor in the white brick house has offered their circle driveway for parking if you don’t want to park on the road.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
  in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin

Psalm 51:1-2

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