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Commentary
Ezekiel 2:1-5

Ezekiel 2:1 O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. – Act like a man and here what the L ORD has to say. Ezekiel 2:2 a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet – The L ORD provides the power for the prophet to stand up. Ezekiel 2:3 I am sending you – This is the word of the L ORD. Go. Ezekiel 2:4 Ezekiel 2:5 they shall know that there has been a prophet among them – The L ORD will move their hearts/minds and tell them the truth. They have been warned.

1.2

Psalm 123

Psalm 123:1 To you I lift up my eyes – The psalmist assumes that heaven is above the earth. Psalm 123:2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master – The author uses a comparison that invokes the hierarchy between those who serve and their masters. The lower class pleads for grace from the upper class. Psalm 123:3 Have mercy upon us – The plea is to be kind to the people. Psalm 123:4

1.3

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

2 Corinthians 12:2 I know a person in Christ – Paul appears to be describing someone else but one has the nagging suspicion that the report is actually about him. 2 Corinthians 12:3 caught up to the third heaven – Perhaps the level is important aspect of the report.

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2 Corinthians 12:4 was caught up into Paradise – This is one of the three uses of the word in the New Testament: here, Luke 23:43 and Revelation 2:7. heard things that are not to be told – One way to look at this phrase is that it contains words of condemnation or doom. Another possibility is that the words are spoken from one who loves the other very deeply. 2 Corinthians 12:5 2 Corinthians 12:6 I will be speaking the truth – Rather than acting like a fool who does not know his right hand from his left, Paul asserts that he knows exactly what happened. 2 Corinthians 12:7 to keep me from being too elated – God gave Paul a reminder of the human condition. a messenger of Satan to torment me – Is this the confuser that causes doubts or is it the quality control engineer that ensures that everything is up to standard? a thorn was given to me in the flesh – Σάρξ is the human, physical existence (Galatians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Colossians 1:22; 2:1; 5.) 2 Corinthians 12:8 Three times – Here Paul argues that one does not pray about certain items without ceasing. 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. – This is an accurate summary of the life of a Christian. God provides for the believer and through the actions of the believer, no matter how poor they might be, the faith is passed on to others. 2 Corinthians 12:10

1.4

Mark 6:1-13

Before this text we have: Healing of the Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5:1-20) Healing (resuscitation) of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:21-23, 35-43) Healing of the woman with the hemorrhage (Mark 5:24-34)

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“Everyone” (Jews and Gentiles) was amazed (Mark 5:20, 42) After this text we have: Death of John the Baptizer (Mark 6:14-29) Report of result of disciples (Mark 6:30) Mark 6:1 He left that place and came to his home town – It is assumed that Jesus has just left the home of Jairus and that the home town is Nazareth. and his disciples followed him – They have no role in this part of the story. Mark 6:2 he began to teach – Any Jewish man could teach if they were invited by the synagogue’s officials.1 Where did this man get all this? – After Jesus’ cosmic struggle, Jesus must battle the “misunderstanding and hostility” of humans.2 The author speaks the questions that everyone is asking. Is not Jesus is just a normal “craftsman?” How does this person, who works with their hands, obtain this knowledge and ability to heal? What is the root of Christ’s powers? Is it for good or for evil? By this point in the narrative, the reader should be able to provide correct responses. What is this wisdom – This is the only use of σοφία in Mark. deeds of power are being done by his hands – This phrase recalls the deliverance of the Jews from the Egyptians. Mark 6:3 the carpenter – Τέκτων is anyone who works with their hands. son of Mary – This is the only time in Mark that Mary is specifically named as the Mother of Jesus. Other authors tell us more positive things about Mary, James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and, are his sisters. Mary and His brothers (Acts 1:14), James the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19; 2:11-12; Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; James 1:1), Jude (Jude 1). We do not have information on the other “siblings.” And they took offence at him. – A better translation of σκανδαλίζοντο (lemma σκανδαλίζω) would be scandalized. This indicates that some people
1 John R. Donahue, S.J. and Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.; Idem, editor, The Gospel of Mark, Volume 2, Sacra Pagina, (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002), p. 183. 2 Ibid., p. 38.

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(His family) could not accept Jesus.3 Earlier in Mark, the friends of Jesus said, “He is beside himself (KJV Mark 3:21b).” It appears that Jesus teaches that “Whoever does God’s will is a member of Jesus’ family. (Mark 3:35)” This of course means that we have an more important obligation than friends, family, and community. Mark 6:4 Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house. – Variations of this phrase appear on Luke 4:24, John 4:44, Gospel of Thomas 31, and in Hellenistic literature.4 Mark uses this idea of a “suffering servant” (Isaiah 53:3) throughout his writings.5 in their own house – This rejection by family shames the entire family.6 Mark 6:5 And he could do no deed of power there – The cause of this inability to perform miracles does not seem to be the lack of faith (See I believe; help thou mine unbelief KJV Mark 9:24b). This does not mean that Jesus was a magician but instead Jesus did not perform miracles since they came with hurtful preconceived notions of His role (eg messiah, food bringer).7 Mark 6:6a amazed at their unbelief – (θαυ άζω) The shock appears to function like the sin against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29) since it is a misuse of human freedom.8 This is the only negative use of “shock” against the work of Jesus.9 This section closes what began with the naming of the twelve (Mark 3:1319)10 It echos the rejection of Jesus by the authorities (Mark 3:6) and it also foreshadows the rejection by the Gentiles (Mark 7:24-8:21).11
Donahue and Harrington, Mark, p. 185. Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid., p. 186. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid., p. 187. 11 Ibid., p. 184.
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Rejection in Mark moves inward from the Pharisees, to the hometown, to His family, and then finally to His disciples.12 The mission of the twelve, which follows, shows that they have become Jesus’ family.13 The question on the biological nature of the “brothers” and “sisters” cannot be adequately answered.14 The fact remains that James became a leader in the early church and that the author of Mark argues that the followers of Jesus become a new family.15 Contradictions – true God and true man; powerful but unable to work in hometown. Gra¨ser in Jesus in Nazareth writes “just as his power is our s salvation, so our unbelief is his powerlessness.”16 Jesus position was used against followers of the past and today. Are the “gaps” in the story to be filled in by us? That is, we know who Mark is talking about and their roles in the early church or perhaps is Mark telling us the rest of the story, the one that the family members did not believe?17 Mark 6:6b villages teaching – This both links the text with Mark 6:1b and reinforces Mark’s view that Jesus is a teacher.18 Mark 6:7 twelve – Disciples are with Jesus and do what Jesus does.19 This group has been selected (Mark 3:14-15) and been given the mystery of God’s Kingdom (Mark 4:10-12). They will be with Jesus when they misunderstood His teachings (Mark 9:35; 10:42), they eat their last meal with Him (Mark 14:12-21), and they leave when He is arrested. The root for disciple ( αθητής) is to learn ( ανθάνω). This can be learning in any way, for example the school of hard knocks. The noun for apostle ( πόστολος) is only found in the disputed Mark 3:14.20 Neither the number of disciples nor who the disciples actually are seem to be important to Mark.21
Brian Stoffregen, Mark 6.1-13 Proper 9 - Year B 4th Sunday after Pentecost 2000, (http: //www.crossmarks.com/brian/mark6x1.htm, 2000). 13 Donahue and Harrington, Mark, p. 187. 14 Ibid., p. 188. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid. 17 Stoffregen, ‘Mark 6.1-13 Proper 9 - Year B 4th Sunday after Pentecost 2000’. 18 Donahue and Harrington, Mark, p. 190. 19 Ibid., p. 31. 20 Ibid., p. 29. 21 Ibid., p. 31.
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The emphasis is on the action of following Jesus’ call.22 The mission of the disciples parallels Jesus.23 Thus, it would seem that disciples are redefined/molded according to Jesus’ suffering and rejection. The format of the call (Mark 1:16-20) is as follows: Initiated by Jesus The disciples were normal people The call from Jesus is clear The call is to share in Jesus’ mission The response is immediate The disciples enter into a group24 authority over the unclean spirits – This first power of the twelve mirrors Jesus’ first power (given in Mark 3:15 and first used here.).25 Mark 6:8 for their journey – Literally “for the way” (ε ς δ ν) The lifestyle seems to indicate the cost of discipleship.26 except a staff – Both protection and a sign of authority27 no bread, no bag, no money in their belts – This shows both trust in God to provide along with a visible difference from philosophers.28 not to put on two tunics – This way of dress lends an urgency to the mission.29 Or is it once again to stand out against the others? This mission is not one of the Cynics since the twelve wear sandals, have no begging bag, and they reside with others.30 Additionally, the teachings of Jesus (accepting tradition, welcoming children, Sabbath observance, supporting marriage) show that He is not a cynic.31
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Donahue and Harrington, Mark, p. 31. Ibid., pp. 30, 192. 24 Ibid., p. 31. 25 Ibid., p. 190. 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid., p. 191. 28 Ibid. 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid., p. 193. 31 Ibid.

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The church cannot forget that its origin lies in a community of missionaries.32 We are called to “travel light” and to proclaim the Word, to engage evil and the devil, and to heal those who are sick.33 Mark 6:9 Mark 6:10 enter a house – The house was to be a base for missions. Mark 6:11 Mark 6:12 all should repent – This follows Jesus’ work in Mark 1:14-15. Mark 6:13 cured them – The work of the disciples (“proclamation, exorcism, and healing”) mirrors Jesus’ work.34

References
Donahue, S.J., John R. and Harrington, S.J., Daniel J.; Idem, editor, The Gospel of Mark, Volume 2, Sacra Pagina, (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002). Stoffregen, Brian, Mark 6.1-13 Proper 9 - Year B 4th Sunday after Pentecost 2000, (http://www.crossmarks.com/brian/mark6x1. htm, 2000), Last checked on July 3, 2009.

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Donahue and Harrington, Mark, p. 194. Ibid. 34 Ibid., p. 192.

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