The Gospel According to Mark – 2018.06.17
Parables and Propaganda
Jesus taught with parables, using analogy and metaphors, I think this must be true. This is not because Jesus wanted to keep the truth from the people, or because he wanted to cloak the secrets of the universe in mystery, but because the subjects: God, and the nature of reality are inherently mysterious.
Be mindful of these matters, and know this; God is not a king, God is a friend, a brother, a sister, a parent. God is a gardener, and the fullness of God, exists in the seed as it is sewn, as well as the bush when it is grown. From sewing to harvest it is one and the same thing. We are not called on to wait for it while it grows.
Know this, it is the propaganda of the gospel writers and the early church, it is a function of their vanity that they wrote the lines, suggesting that they themselves were given special teaching by Jesus. We know this, because even with their privileged position as the people who were closest to Jesus while he lived, this did not enable them to understand the events of the crucifixion or before or after his arrest and trial.
Remember it was one of the twelve who sold him out, and in the aftermath the other eleven abandoned him, only a handful of women stayed by his side.
The Kingdom of God is a Mustard Seed Growing into the Biggest Shrub of All
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time