Extra credit

Sunday, November 5

Mark 12:28-34

By the time we reach the 12th chapter of Mark, Jesus finds himself in the middle of a kind of theological cross-examination free-for-all. Priests, scribes, elders and other assorted defenders of the letter of the law are swarming all over him in a frenzy of entrapment.

First there’s a question about divorce (with a follow-up from his own disciples), and nobody likes the answer. Then a question from a rich man about what he must do to inherit eternal life, and the answer is: the one thing you’re not willing to do. Then the disciples squabble over seating arrangements in the kingdom while the Lord sits on death row. There Jesus stops his own parade to heal a blind man named Bartimaeus, and curses a poor little fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season.


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