Archive for "February, 2012"
Dishani Paul grew up living in a two-room hut in Kenya with her mother and her seven siblings. Her father died before she was born. She remembers searching for old toothpaste tubes in order to clean her teeth. Yet, now she is thankful for her childhood because it made her stronger.
In today’s passage, Jesus tells two parables about growing seeds. First, he describes a farmer who plants a seed. He then waits patiently as the seed grows on its own: the result of God’s providence and not his own eager concern. Next, he tells of a tiny mustard seed that grows into an impressive shrub where birds can nest.
Verses 21-25 are a collection of independent sayings found in other contexts in Matthew and Luke. Their distinctive meaning in Mark is shaped by his handling of these traditional sayings, their arrangement, and their location following the parable of the sower and its interpretation. The structure of this paragraph reveals the design of its arrangement.
The parables do contain a continuous theme, the great thesis on the Kingdom of God (basileia tou theou). They portray the nature of the Kingdom (Mark 4:26-29), the grace (Luke 18:9-17), the crisis (Luke 12:54-56), and the conditions, such as forgiveness (Matt 18:23-35), compassion (Luke 10:25-37), and responsive hearing (Matt 7:24-27).
On January 10, 2012, a young man made a video to be broadcasted on YouTube. This is not an unusual event, but overnight his video called, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” went “viral” which means millions of people all over the world watched it.
Jesus tells this parable in the context of people’s mixed reception to his message. Perhaps the disciples felt a bit disheartened that not everyone jumped at the chance to follow their Master.
The introduction to this section emphasizes Jesus’ teaching and the size of the crowd that came to him. The setting is the seaside, the most frequently mentioned locale of Jesus’ Galilean ministry (1:16; 2:13; 3:7; 5:1, 21; [6:34]; 7:31).
Biblical parable should be distinguished but not divorced from allegory. An allegory is a series of pictures or cryptograms in a story symbolizing a series of truths in another sphere.