Nowadays, we take it for granted that Yeshua/Jesus can forgive sins but in this first of the five controversy dialogues of Mark 2/3, it is nothing short of revolutionary and potentially blasphemous to make that claim. So, what's the big deal? This week, we will be looking at the belief, as expressed in the Talmud, that a sick man would not recover unless his sins were forgiven by God first. Up to this point, Yeshua's battles have all been against the demonic and sickness--but now He faces an entirely different kind of opposition--humans.
So, we've finally reached the end of Mark chapter one and I wanted to cover in more depth a concept that I have only hinted at in the past--the Yahweh-Warrior motif of Isaiah and Mark. How on earth are we supposed to pull together all of the images in Scripture of Yahweh as the shepherd and warrior coming personally to save His people and gather in the nations? That's exactly what Mark has been laying out the groundwork for in the first chapter of his Gospel. Exciting stuff!
We're also going to look at pre-Christian Jewish pseudepigraphic writings about the priestly Messiah that bear some interesting similarities to Mark's Gospel--along with some very notable differences.
This week we will be closing up Mark chapter one with the shocking story of Yeshua/Jesus healing the leper. We'll talk about Biblical tzara'at vs modern-day leprosy aka Hansen's disease, and cover a bit of Torah portion Metzora, which covers skin diseases. I will also be talking about lashon hara, evil speech, and what we can learn about how we are to control our tongues based on Miriam's affliction and in light of the George Floyd tragedy.
After Yeshua's triumph on Friday night at the synagogue, he follows Peter home to his mother in law's home and cures her of a fever. The following night, after the Sabbath, the fallout that results from being a miracle worker in an age without modern medicine begins to take its toll. But what's the problem? Certainly, He wants to draw crowds and be famous, right? Isn't that the best way to get people to hear His message? Not so much.