Mark 2 Reflection by Hannah M
Only 2 chapters into the gospel of Mark and we’ve read 3 stories of what Jesus is up to already. Boom! feels like we can sense the excitement in the way this gospel is being written- the writer isn’t messing around, he’s getting straight to the action- Jesus transforming lives! THIS is what animates the gospel writer, it’s what he’s writing and living for, what he’s found himself caught up in and can’t help expressing.
I love that we’re called to this same excitement. The joy of our salvation- this good news of Jesus right here at our fingertips to share. Something we can live and breathe and bubble over with.
So....what exactly is Jesus doing in this chapter? Something I noticed while reading is, he seems to be surprising people! We get three stories of surprise:
- a lame man is lowered through the roof and he gets up and walks
- a tax collector is picked out as a disciple
- Jesus’ followers don’t religiously fast, in fact they nom on field fresh grain on the sabbath! (Mmmm)
You can’t hide Jesus! At the end of the previous chapter Jesus takes some alone time. But now he’s back and word is out. As soon as he arrives, he’s recognised. Everyone knows who he is and gathers around.
Maybe it’s a slightly loose link, but this was a little reminder to me that I always want to be recognised for my Jesusy-ness. For people to recognise him in me, walking the streets, around the estate. Don’t want his presence to be unnoticed.
The man who gets lowered through the roof by his friends:
First, I questioned- Where am I in the story? How desperate for Jesus am I?
Would I be part of the crowd, lingering around the busy door out of interest, hoping maybe to catch a glimpse of Him...or would I be smashing a hole in the roof determined to get to him face to face?!
Then I wondered, what are the ceilings preventing young people round here from encountering Jesus?
How are we creatively making ways through those ceilings for them to meet him?
Verse 5 of the amplified translation says this of the lame man’s ceiling-smashing friends: ‘When Jesus saw their active faith, springing from their confidence in him...’ — I love this. Active faith! Springing from confidence in Jesus!
This is what God loves to see in us too. Perhaps this is an encouragement to continue allowing everything we are and do as Eden to spring from our confidence in him.
In verse 12 the lame man is walking- ‘this amazed everyone’- Jesus can do amazing things! Let’s be amazed! This builds on Jo’s point from yesterday, to not stop believing Jesus can work incredible stuff in this place.
Mark 2:14-17- Jesus and the tax collectors
Out of a crowd Jesus has time for the individual. ‘A large crowd came to him’ yet: ‘he saw Levi’.
I want to be like this, someone who SEES a person. notices them. Who values them.
And Jesus calls this pretty unlikely seeming guy out as a disciple -‘follow me’. A tax collector- corrupt, dishonest. Yet he’s invited. He’s who Jesus has come for and wants to share dinner with.
Mark 2:18-27- Sabbath snacking
We reflected on this passage together at our Eden Retreat and I couldn’t help thinking back to some of our reflections. I still love the image of Jesus walking through the fields snacking with his friends. The freedom of it. Jesus hasn’t called us here to put unnecessary burdens on us.
In verse 27 Jesus says, ‘The sabbath was made for man’ - rest is a gift, maybe even a weapon for us. The stuff we do comes from a place of resting with him.