Gospel of Mark, Lent

“Yo, who the f is this?” (Mark 4:35-41)

Sometimes I wish Lin-Manuel Miranda would take on the gospels.

When I think of the stories that would be suited to his hip-hop stylings, this is one of the moments I imagine. These guys have been all over the general vicinity of Capernaum with their new buddy, Jesus, and they have seen him preach, and watched homes be overrun during dinner, and a roof literally breached, and they have seen him heal people who had leprosy and people who could not walk, and restore a withered hand, and they have heard him joust verbally with the scribes and Pharisees, and they have no clue who he is.

In the musical version, surely Peter’s mother-in-law, lifted from her sickbed, would not share the confusion of the disciples. (#werk)

Overcome with awe, they said to each other, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!” (Mark 4:41)

What else do they need to see? Magician, shaman, weather-controller, what more can he do to open their eyes to his super-nature?

For me, this should be the moment they are saying, “He’s more than we thought he was; he is more than human.” But they are still asking a question.

Yet I have the benefit of hindsight, don’t I? Don’t we? Maybe I need to sit with my eyes closed and feel the swell of the waves, and the screeching of the wind, the nausea of both motion sickness and fear of death, the desperate clinging to anything that feels solid, the water coming over the side of the boat. Maybe I need to remember the times I have called out for help and wondered if anyone, even God, cared. Maybe I need to admit that in the middle of such moments, even when help has come, I haven’t always processed it immediately.

Maybe this moment is one of the many that will flash before all their eyes later, when they say, “We should have known it then!” That’s a reprise I would love to hear in Act 2, even though we don’t get such a moment in Mark’s gospel.

Lord God, in those flashes that illuminate everything, help me to catch even a glimmer of your truth. Amen.

I’m reading and blogging about Mark for Lent. Want to read along? I’m using the Common English Bible because it messes with my expectations of familiar passages. I am also referring to NRSV-based resources including The Jewish Annotated New Testament, the New Interpreter’s Study Bible, as well as the online Greek interlinear Bible.

You can find the full schedule here, including links to earlier posts.

(I fell behind this week while attending a conference, but should catch up soon!)