Friday, September 29, 2006


“The multitude came together again,
so that they could not so much as eat bread.”
(Mark 3:20)

As we’ve seen, Mark is a vivid, fast paced and dynamic Gospel account. Mark even uses a phrase a couple of times to help us understand just how busy Jesus and the disciples were, as if the adverb immediately over forty times alone wasn’t enough. Mark says that on a number of occasions there were so many people coming together with needs that Jesus and the disciples “could not so much as eat bread” (3:20). They were so busy, Mark says, that they didn’t even have time to stop by Taco-Bell and get something to eat, much less time to eat a piece of bread. Think about it, there was at least thirteen of them, including Jesus, you’d think He could have easily sent one of the younger ones down to the Snack-Shack to pick up a little something to nibble on. If not something to eat, at least send someone on a coffee-run.

Amazing discoveries are made about an individual in the midst of busy, long days, weary bodies and hungry tummies. For instance, one’s patience tends to wear thin, attitudes are prone to becoming less than appealing, not to mention, we typically become somewhat less than sensitive both to God and fellow-humanity. This is one of the things that makes Mark’s portrait of Jesus so fascinating, he never loses His cool under pressure, is always in tune with the hearts of humanity and that of His Father. Mark’s transitions between scenes are often that where people enter and exit with great frequency and place-names pile upon place-names as we journey along with Jesus ‘on the way.’ Yet, even amidst the hurriedness, Jesus remains the sensitive and steady Servant of God. What an example of what it means to truly serve. What was the secret to such acute sensitivity to the Spirit and demonstration of power? What was Jesus’ Powerade?

Similarly, “we live in a hurried, harried world, as we rush about from task to task and place to place and person to person. We overlook how each task, place, and person contributes to the whole of our lives, to God’s whole story that is taking shape within us, around us, and even beyond us. It should be noted, then, as we make our way through this Gospel, that although it moves along rapidly, it is worth pausing at each point along the way to see what new thing we may discover about Jesus, about others, or about ourselves.”

Mark intends for us to notice everything, even the smallest of things, by tucking in a surprise detail here and there in the Gospel. What could we learn from this and how could it be implemented into our daily encounters?

Portraits of Jesus        

What was Jesus’ Powerade? Can you find the clues Mark has left for us in his Gospel?

Can you find the other verse in Mark that talks about the disciples not having enough time to eat? How does Mark illustrate their inner workings and attitudes when they get weary, spent, tired and hungry?

How does this illustration of the disciples compare to that which Mark paints of Jesus in the same situation?

How does Mark further illustrate the level of sensitivity to fellow humanity and to the Spirit’s workings in their midst?

What was the prescription (Powerade) that Jesus admonished them to partake? Did they take a gulp?

Don’t stop searching Mark until you find Mark’s insight to these questions, for in them is one of the most imperative truths of our service to God and our walk in the Way of Jesus!

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