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The Fourth Sunday Before Advent

Deuteronomy 6.1-9
Hebrews 9.11-14
Mark 12.28-34

For once the lectionary hits the jackpot. These readings dovetail perfectly, revealing powerfully the continuity and discontinuity between Christianity and the Old Testament.

The key is the bit we might miss if we weren’t alerted to it. Only Mark records the little exchange between Jesus and the scribe, which shows how the question about the great commandment fits into the whole sequence of thought. Mark 11—13 is framed by Jesus’ action in the Temple (a symbolic warning of its destruction), and by the prophetic discourse on the Mount of Olives. The intervening material, including this passage, is not simply a string of miscellaneous controversies. It all explains the same point: what Jesus is doing will take the place of the Temple. From here there is a straight line to Jesus’ hearing before the High Priest, at which the question of the Temple is central, and thence to his death, through which (Mark implies) all is accomplished...

Taken from Twelve Months of Sundays Year B by N T Wright

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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