Chapter Two: Following the Teacher

From Embodying Mark, p. 19-20:

Jesus is always teaching. He teaches in synagogues (1.21; 6.2), by the sea (2.13; 4.1; 6.34), in homes (2.2), in villages (6.6), on the way (8.31; 9.31; 10.17) and in the temple (11.17; 12.35; 14.49). He teaches great crowds (4.1; 6.34; 10.1); he teaches his closest followers in private (4.34; 13.5–37); he teaches his enemies (3.22–30; 6.2–6; 11.27—12.27). His teaching is authoritative (1.27), compassionate (6.34), simultaneously astounding and offensive (6.2–3), spellbinding (11.18), fearless (in that he does it boldly in the face of opponents who will kill him, 11.17–18), mysterious (4.11–12) and pleasurable (12.37). It inspires commitment, awe, confusion, homicidal rage and delight. And none of that matters to him.

He does not seek to be liked, and he does not expect everyone to agree with him or to respond positively. He knows that they will not (4.11–12). His teaching is both not at all about him and entirely about him; paradoxically he both does not factor into the equation at all and is at the centre of it. His immense love for God and neighbour issues in a commitment to the good news of the kingdom of God so complete that while he is constantly teaching this news, he is also always embodying it fully in life and in death with extravagant, life-altering, enraging, exquisite, heartrending generosity. His disciples (or students, as it might be helpful to put it) are meant to learn not only by listening to what he says but also by watching how he lives.

In your exploration of Mark 4, as you think, imagine, pray, and create, if there is anything you (or your group, if you are exploring Mark with others) would like to share — a thought, an idea, an image of a creative expression, or a video clip of a reading, presentation, or other creative embodiment of the text — please share that in a Reply box below.

If it is a thought or an idea, tell us about it. If it is a video, first put your video on YouTube, and then paste the URL (the YouTube address for that video) into your message in the Reply box, and the YouTube video will show up there; to get the right address for this, click on Share (you’ll see this option below the video), then select Embed and copy the address that comes up, then paste it into the Reply box, and once you post it, the video should appear. If it is a photo you would like to share, you can do this through any of a number of websites that allow you to share photos; I have tried it with Flickr, and to do it there, you tell it that you’d like to share the HTML (it lets you choose Link, HTML, or BBCode when you say you want to share the photo; you select HTML, and also select HTML rather than Embed). You may wish to write something about the photo or video.

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