more details in mark

As has been mentioned over and over again in Year B, Mark is sparse on the details.  According to people much smarter than me, Mark saw his task less to share a full account of the life of Jesus and more to articulate his theological position, stated in 1:1, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”  So, the task of the preacher is to examine the details, scarce as they may be, because everything Mark bothers to share is of some theological import to his reader.

For Sunday, we have the rather well known (and honestly, well worn) story of Jesus calming the sea in Mark 4.  It is a fairly straightforward story, lasting all of 7 verses, but there are little details hidden throughout the text for us.   The first we’ll look at this week is the oddest of them all.  Jesus, as evening comes, sets out with his disciples toward the other side of the lake.  They leave the crowd behind, and, as Mark describes it, “they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.”

Just as he was.

Practically speaking, this could mean that Jesus and the Disciples hopped on the boat without any preparation or provision for the trip.  If so, it would follow with the story in Mark 6 of Jesus sending his disciples with nothing but a walking stick.

Theologically speaking, this could mean that Jesus entered the boat just out of a series of teachings.  He didn’t have any magic potions, no wands, no tapping into special oracles. Jesus, the Rabbi, entered the boat, and no one expected anything amazing to happen along the way.

Jesus, “the Son of God,” enters our lives just as we are and just as he is.  He teaches, admonishes, strengthens, and, when necessary, performs miracles and calms seas.


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