Lenten Bible Study for the Gospel of Mark (3)

Chapter 2

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken thorugh, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinkingsuch things in your hearts? Which is easier to say to the paralytic,’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” — he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once and went away in teh sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees werw accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.

As he was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

Amen.

***

Verse 1: In other accoutns of Jesus returning home, the people despised Him or ran Him out of town. Why here do the come to Him?

Verse 4: How like this opening of the roof to lead to healing, as the opening of the heavens to send down the holy Spirit to Christ at his baptism in Chapter 1:10!

Verse 5: Faith becomes a prerequisite for healing.

Verse 9: Well, which one is easier to say? What is the meaing of this particular verse?

Verse 13: Christ followed the sea; fishing settlements. Is there a meaning to following fishing settlements, other than them being centers of commerce?

Verse 14: What is the original conjugation/Latin/Greek/Aramaic (?) of “follow me”? The strict translation?

Verse 16: Why do scribes presume that they themselves are not sinners as well? All people are in need of redemption.

Verse 19: New expression of God’s relationship to His people; Christ to disciples. Wedding, Bridegroom: Joy of messianic fulfillment/time. Why fast/share in the suffering that has yet to occur? Why repent to God when you can do it to Christ by physically following Him?

Verse 25: Can break the sabbath if it means you live to serve God. A servant is no use to his Master if incapacitated or dead.

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Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD)

Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD)

Sufferers of DSACDAD’s reported such symptomes as worrying about life, feeling tense, restless, or fatigued, being concerned about their weight, noticing sings of agiing, feeling stress at work, home, or finding activities they used to enjoy, like shopping, challenging.

http://www.havidol.com/index.php

***
Fake drug, fake illness — and people believe it!!

A media exhibit featureing a compaign for a fake drug to treat a fictitious illness is causing a stir because some people think the illness is real.

Australian artist Justing Cooper created teh marketing campaing for a non-existenet drug called Havidol for Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD), which she also invented.

But the multi-media exhibit at the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery in New York, which includes a Web site, mock television and print advertisments and billboards is so convincing people think it is authentic.

“People have walked into the gallery and thought it was real,” Mahmood said in an interview.

“They didn’t get the fact that this was a parody or satire.”

But Mahmood said it really took off over the Internet. In the first few days after the Web site (www.havidol.com) went up, it had 5,000 hits. The last time he checked it had reached a quarter of a million.

“The think that amazes me is that it has been folded into real Web sites for panic and anxiety disorder. It’s been folded into a Web site for depression. It’s been folded into hundreds of art blogs,” he added.

The parody is in response to the tactics used by the drug industry to sell their wares to the public. Consumer advertising for prescription medications, which are a staple of television advertising in the United States, was legalized in the country in 1997.

Cooper said she intended the exhibit to be subtle.

“The drug ads themselves are sometimes so comedic. I couldn’t be outrageously spoofy so I wanted it to be a more subtle kind of parody that draws you in, makes you want this thing and then makes you wonder why you want it and maybe where you can get it,” she added.

Mahmood said that in addition to generating interest among the artsy crowd, doctors and medical students have been asking about the exhibit.

“I think people identify with the condition,” he said.

***
Questions: How harmful is this? How does this hurt those of us fighting mental illness stigma? What do you think of this?

Lenten Bible Study of the Gospel of Mark (2)

Chapter 1:14-45

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew castings their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after men, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they left their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the sone of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The peopel were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

On leaving the synagoge he enter the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town gathered at teh door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages tha I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogoes, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

A leper came to him [and kneeling down] begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning hime sternly, he dimissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleasing what Moses prescribeds; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Amen.

Verse 14: After John the Baptist was arrested did Christ “come onto the scene.” John the Baptist’s work/mission was completed.Verse 15: “gospel” What does it mean?

Verses 16-20: All of the first four apostles called were fishermen and two sets of brothers.

Verse 24: The demon says “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? … I know who you are, the Holy One of God!” A confused demon about the differences of singular and plural usages?

Verse 30: Simon (Called Peter) has a mother-in-law (i.e., he is married).

Verse 31: She was cured and then began to serve them; a contrast to the lesson of Martha and Mary?

Verse 35: He prays in a deserted place so that people start searching for Him.

Verse 40: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” God’s Will always precedes us and our desires.

Verse 45: He stayed out in deserted places away from the crowds and people came to Him. We have to actively seek Him.

Lenten Bible Study of the Gospel of Mark (1)

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 1: 1-13
Lenten Bible Study

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son of God].

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“Behold, I a sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD,
make
straight his paths.’”



John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “you are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

Amen.

Verse 5: people came from the countryside and the city of Jerusalem. I cannot begin to understand how many people that was, but I think I can begin to understand the worries the Pharisees had about the popularity of Christ.

Verse 8: Christ alludes later in the Gospel to John the Baptist being Elijah. Is John the Baptist Elijah? More importantly, who is Elijah?

Verse 10: The holy Spirit descends like a dove. Hawks and other birds of prey dive in, whereas doves? According to the WBFI Research Foundation Bird database, the flight of a dove is “swift, strong direct flight.” Secondly, the heavens are torn open. They are not gently pulled aside, but torn open. What does that look like? Sound like? What glory the Baptist and all others gathered that day when Christ was baptized in the Jordan River must have seen and experienced!

Verse 12: Why forty days? Is this symbolically linked to Noah’s 40 days adrift? Noah is a story about God’s disgust for mankind, His retaliatory actions, and His covenant. It is a rebirth. Do these 40 days in the desert endured by Christ resemble rebirth. We know through the redemptive and glorious Crucifixion that it does indeed precede a rebirth. How does Satan tempt the Son of God? What is the importance of mentioning that Christ is among wild beasts in the desert? In Exodus, the desert is a place of feeling lost, abandoned, and rebellion against the LORD; does Christ’s retreat into the desert symbolize … obedience, perhaps? He was pushed into the desert by the holy Spirit; did the Father know something about Satan’s temptations and Christ’s need to resist them that we mortals are not aware of?

Modest dress & Lust

If anyone has seen me on campus for the past two weeks, and many have, you’ve probably noticed that I am wearing skirts. I have now worn skirts each day of the week including weekends and the rain for the last two weeks.

I didn’t understand my own behavior until yesterday, during the 3:30 pm downpour I covered my head with my scarf to “stay” dry. It was made clear to me that I am very aware of sexual sin, especially those sins where a man lusts after a woman, and just by thinking about her in lewd ways has committed adultery WITH her. As I was walking yesterday afternoon to class, I felt disgraceful and ashamed, becuase I know men look at me like that; I do not encourage it by not wearing makeup, low-cut tops, short skirts, &c. Yet, they still look. No matter how much I cover up my body, they look at me as skinny and pretty and they lust after me.

Isaiah 54:4, 9

Fear not, you shall not be put to shame;
you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced.
The shame of your youth you shall forget,
the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.

This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
So I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.