CBS: I.3 – Mark 4-8:21

Recorded on October 18th.

Continuing with St. Mark’s Gospel, in this session focusing on Parables. One notable feature is how Jesus speaks to the crowds in parables, but plainly to his disciples. Why might this be? Also, the parables often begin with the saying, “The Kingdom of God is like …” so the parables are announcing and describing the Kingdom of God.

Parables considered include:

  • The Parable of the Sower (Mk 4:1-20)
  • The Parable of the Lamp (4:21-25)
  • The Parable of the Seed (4:26-29)
  • The Parable of the Mustard Seed (4:30-34)

Then there is a sequence of healing stories. Note that healing is closely connected to exorcism: the coming Kingdom of God is driving out the Kingdom of Satan.

  • Healing the Gesarene Demoniac (5:1-20)
  • Healing Jairus’ daughter and the Woman with the Hemorrhage (5:21-43)
  • Healings at Gennessaret (6:53-56)
  • Healing the Syrophoenician Woman’s Daughter (7:24-30)
  • Healing of a Deaf Man (7:31-37)

We also read the stories of feeding of the Five Thousand (6:34-44) and the Four Thousand (8:1-10). While these stories sound similar, note the subtle differences in meaning. The twelve baskets left over in the first account symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel, and the seven baskets in the second account symbolize the pagan nations. Note also that the stories are very Eucharistic: Jesus “looked up to heaven, said the blessing, broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples”.

CBS – Mark 4-8


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