How do you explain Jesus?

Mark sometimes likes to enfold one story within another (or to ‘sandwich’ it) so as to help his readers to listen to the one in the light of the other. He has done that in the latter part of chapter 3. Within the story of how Jesus’ own family responded to his extraordinary behaviour (3:20–21, 31–35) he has enclosed an altogether more hostile and threatening encounter with some scribes from Jerusalem. What the two stories have in common is that each group is struggling to find ways of making sense of Jesus. They have heard about his remarkable activity, especially about his exorcisms, and, since they cannot simply dismiss the stories as untrue, they need an explanation. Yet neither group yet believes his claim to be working by the power of God. The alternative explanations they come up with are not very flattering: his family think he is mad, and the scribes accuse him of being in league with the devil!…

Publisher: BRF - view more
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