Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Puzzling Parables (Matthew 26:57-Mark 9:13)

I'm a little confused about some of the parables in this section. I always thought the parables were used to help Jesus' followers better understand what he was trying to say but after reading this section, it doesn't seem like that was the case.

Mark 9-12

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,

"they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!"

Why would Jesus not want make it easier for those he spoke to to understand what he was saying?

In Mark 4:34 It also says that when Jesus was alone with his disciples he explained his parables. I just don't get why he would explain them to his disciples but not the thousands of people who came to hang on to every word he had to say.

And I've never understood the story in Mark 7 about the faith of the Syrophoenician woman. Here is is:

Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence a secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."

then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."

She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

I wish someone would make it clear to me exaclty what this means, I have a few guesses as to what it means but nothing I'm 100% sure about.

Few other comments about this section:
1. Jesus was a rock star! they couldn't get enought of him

2. There were a lot of demon possessed people brought to Jesus. I wonder why I haven't seen a lot of that during my lifetime if it was so prevalently recorded back then? not that I want to see a lot of it, but I have a feeling it has to do with Satan being pretty sneaky.

3. I liked how Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs I think that is a good rule of thumb when doing missions work there is strength in numbers and it can be so hard when it's just one person.

4. There is a lot of repeat between Matthew and Mark and I'm sure Luke and John have repeats as well. I wonder why God thought it was necessary to have 4 different versions of the same story. Probably for validity.

Anyway, that's it for today. Lot's of questions, not a lot of answers. Feel free to leave a post if you can help me with some answers.


Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Hi Melody! I popped over after reading one of your comments (maybe it was from Mckmama's--not sure!) I love it that you post your bible studies! Love it! Thanks so much for this very thought provoking one.

I've wondered about these very same scriptures!! When I encounter verses like this that I have a hard time understanding I usually pray that the Holy Spirit will give me insight and understanding. (John 14:26) It is interesting to me that Jesus was able to be all things to all people. He knew how to address the woman that was seeking him out-he knew how to test her faith (and not for his benefit but for hers). I love that about Him.

Nice to meet you!

Joe said...

Hi Melody.....My name is Joseph...I'm Harmony friend.....Thank you for visiting my blog....I love your blog....Harmony talk about you alot, but I never have met you....I love the color in you blog......I'm from Ukraine,my Mom and Dad adopt me when I was 15 now I'm 19,before that I never have Mom or Dad..When I was born my Mom and Dad left me in the hospital..Soo later I went to big orphanage I was in the orphanage for 15 years.....Soo you might know how is hard to not have a family for 15 yeras..But I never knew that some body would want to adopt me..But when I herd that some body want to adopt me I was so happy...Now I have a wonderful Mom and Dad that loves me and loves their shildren and grandchildren......I'm very happy to have Mom and Dad and I feel like the are real Mom and Dad... Thank you for visiting my blog:JOE