Friday, January 06, 2006

NT06 - Mark 3: In which the rubber hits the road

The first part of this chapter, where Jesus heals the man with the shriveled hand, is a part of the Lord-of-the-Sabbath narrative of Ch 2. Jesus is declaring himself to be above the Law. To the Pharisees, this is blasphemy.

Then, Jesus' family is apparently called in to do an intervention. He spurns them, in favor of his disciples.

OK, time to stop.

Mark is the earliest Gospel to be written. According to scholars, it was written in the 80's, about 50 years after Jesus' ministry. It appears to be based on still-earlier, but now lost, textual or oral records of Jesus' teachings and deeds.

The earliest part of the earliest record we have of Jesus' acts and words show him to be - let's be charitably skeptical - a charismatic madman. He's traveling about the countryside, healing, casting out demons (for the skeptics: healing mental illnesses?), attracting crowds so dense you can't push your way through them, and claiming to have the authority to forgive sins and decide what the law of the Sabbath means. IOW, he says he's God.

Is this guy nuts? His family certainly seems to think so.

Or is he something more?

No comments: