Tag: healing

Summary: When Jesus’ actions and words concerning the sabbath upset a group of Pharisees, Mark’s Gospel begins to draw attention to why some of Jesus’ contemporaries found him so controversial. The two scenes in this passage illustrate the liberative character of God’s reign (kingdom) and show some religious leaders to be resistant to that liberation. Their resistance results in the narrative’s first indications of the opposition that will finally overwhelm Jesus.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: When Jesus heals a woman’s debilitating and oppressive spinal condition on the sabbath, his action draws a rebuke. His sharp retort to his critics implies that his action was totally appropriate, since honoring the sabbath entails reiterating God’s commitment to freedom from oppression. The theological logic that drives this passage and justifies Jesus’ urgent concern for the anonymous woman’s well-being resonates with what Martin Luther King Jr. argues in his famous book Why We Can’t Wait. Well-meaning religious people seem to have a habit of impeding God’s commitment to justice and liberation. Our problem goes beyond ignorance or a lack of compassion. Sometimes our theology, security, and idealism are to blame. We need to rediscover the priorities to which God is committed, such as delivering people from suffering.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: In this biblical passage, Jesus demonstrates his power over illness when he heals Simon’s mother-in-law from a fever. At the same time, Mark’s Gospel prompts us to consider what true service looks like, who gets to perform it, and how.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: Healing a man with a skin disease alters the course of Jesus’ ministry. It’s a reminder that God’s entrance into human existence involves God in the vagaries of human existence. As  God is affected by the challenges of alleviating suffering, we should expect the same from our own efforts.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible