BPotW Loaves and Crumbs (Mark 7:24-30)

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Bible Passage of the Week

Mendalla

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Jesus's power to heal? Jesus himself? Compassion? God's grace?
I lean to the last, really, The first two seem a bit two specific to the situation. This story is pretty heavy on metaphor, though it feels real enough to have been based on something that happened. And compassion would be something that would come out receiving grace, at least in some readings of things.
 

Mendalla

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And I love @revjohn's post. Gets nicely into how we can find complexities in even a fairly short Biblical story like this one. That kind of discussion is why I started the BPoTW concept.
 

paradox3

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Anyone remember the Prayer of Humble Access? The following line came to me this morning when I was out for my walk:

"We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs from under thy table."

It's a communion prayer I haven't heard in many years.
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
If the bread (or food) and the crumbs are used metaphorically, what do you think they represent?

Jesus's power to heal? Jesus himself? Compassion? God's grace?

Or maybe something else? Could it be all of the above?
The easiest answer is whatever is asked for. In this instance, it was the casting out of a demon.

The food requested was the casting out of a demon. Is that an act of compassion? A demonstration of power? A bit of both?

Which adds a bit of flavouring to the exchange don't you think?

"You want me to cast a demon out of your daughter? Look at all the demons in these people and you want help getting rid of one?"

"Lord, I don't mean to interrupt but it is only one, cast it out and get right back to all the bigger demons in your kids. It will only take a moment."

"Okay poof its gone can I get back to getting rid of these bigger demons now?"

"Thank you so much, sorry to have bothered you. I really appreciate it."

And seriously, knowing how well Jesus gets along with demonkind did any of us think it even possible that Jesus, hearing a child is afflicted by one would ever consider the "sucks to be you" response?
 

paradox3

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In v. 30, when the woman goes home, she finds the child lying on the bed and the demon gone.

Since Mark is a writer of few words, I wonder why he included the detail of the little girl lying on the bed. She could have been up playing happily or having a snack, after all.

Was she exhausted by her encounter with the demon? Still sick in bed? Reflecting on what happened? Something else?
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
In v. 30, when the woman goes home, she finds the child lying on the bed and the demon gone.

Since Mark is a writer of few words, I wonder why he included the detail of the little girl lying on the bed. She could have been up playing happily or having a snack, after all.

Was she exhausted by her encounter with the demon? Still sick in bed? Reflecting on what happened? Something else?
The demon being gone not enough?

She asked. Christ responded. Demon gone.

The only thing really unusual in the story is the language issue.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
I dont know about these "demons", what were considered demons in those days? Someone with epilepsy, mental illness, tumors, etc...
In the case of epilepsy a tonic clonic episode eventually stops. The womans daughter is healed when she returns...but the account fails to mention who besides the woman witnesses this and if this healing lasted forever.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
I dont know about these "demons", what were considered demons in those days? Someone with epilepsy, mental illness, tumors, etc...
In the case of epilepsy a tonic clonic episode eventually stops. The womans daughter is healed when she returns...but the account fails to mention who besides the woman witnesses this and if this healing lasted forever.
The other thing I've noticed is, why are we struggling with this story or parables meaning?
Parables were given to others, not the apostles, why?
 

paradox3

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The other thing I've noticed is, why are we struggling with this story or parables meaning?
Why wouldn't we struggle? Although I don't really like the word "struggle" because it sounds negative.

Rather than struggling with the text, can we say we are engaging with it? I am enjoying the conversation quite a bit.
 

Mendalla

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I dont know about these "demons", what were considered demons in those days?
Based on what pre-modern Christians labelled demonic at times, possibly some mental illness causing erratic or strange behaviour. Even something like ADHD perhaps.

But I am not sure we need a clinical diagnosis here (and we can't have one, in fact, since details are lacking as to her symptoms). This is a story and the story says it was a demon so that's what it is in the context of the story. How do we interpret the story in that light? Anything else is reading into the story.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Why wouldn't we struggle? Although I don't really like the word "struggle" because it sounds negative.

Rather than struggling with the text, can we say we are engaging with it? I am enjoying the conversation quite a bit.
Me too, but I was thinking about what Mark 4:11 says....and how we have come up with different meanings for the verses in the OP. So I dont know, is this a parable or an actual happening? If it's a parable is it supposed to be about the kingdom of God? Just asking.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Based on what pre-modern Christians labelled demonic at times, possibly some mental illness causing erratic or strange behaviour. Even something like ADHD perhaps.

But I am not sure we need a clinical diagnosis here (and we can't have one, in fact, since details are lacking as to her symptoms). This is a story and the story says it was a demon so that's what it is in the context of the story. How do we interpret the story in that light? Anything else is reading into the story.
Sure could be, but sometimes hindsight is 20/20 too especially if we dont just use the Bible as the only source.
 

Mendalla

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especially if we dont just use the Bible as the only source.
Is there another source for this story? I only know of the accounts in Mark and Matthew. If you know of one, bring it into the discussion.

Not sure it matters what the "demon" represents in terms of modern medicine though. In the end, the daughter needed healing, Jesus provided it after the mother took the initiative to approach him. Does it matter whether it was epilepsy or schizophrenia or whatever else?
 

Mendalla

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What do we need healing of/from?

Whatever ails us. The demon does not represent, and does not need to represent, a specific ailment. It can be a metaphorical stand-in for "illness" or "something is wrong." It could even stand-in for something like "sin" that we need to be healed of but I do not think that is the case here. This is a story and trying to put a hard, literal definition on the demon misses the point. We don't know what the girl had in modern, medical terms and it does not matter. What matters is that Jesus recognized the need to help her.

Now, that's a modern point of view. I imagine the concept of the girl being possessed of a demon probably meant something in and of itself back then when demons and spirits were more likely to be taken literally and seriously, but the point is still that her mother's action got Jesus to do something about it, not which specific demon it was or what it was doing to her or whatever. Focusing on the demon rather than the mother's interaction with Jesus misses the point by a country mile.
 

BetteTheRed

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But does the miraculousness of it matter?

Clearly, there are many fewer things of which we die prematurely today that we're not aware of. And for which there is no cure. Even mental illnesses that were once uncontrollable are less today.
 

Mystic

Well-Known Member
Who is Mark? Peter calls him his "son," but few scholars take him literally because the Pastoral Epistles refer to Timothy and Titus as "my child in the faith.'
This objection overlooks the fact that Peter takes his wife with him on his missionary tours; so it seems natural that their "son" would join them. When Paul escapes from a Jerusalem prison, he immediately goes to Mary's house ( See Acts 12:12). Mary is the mother of John Mark, who is also referred to in Acts simply as "Mark." Why does Peter go there? Because after his escape, he needs to get out of Dodge and he wants his family to know where he is going, so they can join him later! That's the best explanation of why he goes to Mary's house rather than James, the church leader's house. So why doesn't Luke identify Mark as Peter's son here? For the same reason, he never tells us that James is Jesus' brother--Luke is not interested in family relations. If this theory is correct, then Mark's Gospel represents 'Dad's Memoirs."

The foregoing is my theory of who Mark is, but here is a widely accepted standard view:
Quite apart from this theory, Papias learns from Jesus "disciple," "John the Elder "a living voice") that Mark was Peter's interpreter in Rome and wrote the Gospel from Peter's recollections, probably from his catechetical notes. Thus, Justin Martyr of Rome refers to Mark's Gospel as Peter's "Memoir's." The reason why the stories are so terse is because they represent Peter's notes. Mark's status as Peter's memoirs helps explain why both Matthew and L.uke use Marl as their source.

[Full documentation can be provided.]













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paradox3

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Me too, but I was thinking about what Mark 4:11 says....and how we have come up with different meanings for the verses in the OP. So I dont know, is this a parable or an actual happening? If it's a parable is it supposed to be about the kingdom of God? Just asking.
Mark's gospel presents it as a story of an actual event. But it was written down so much later we can't be sure of the story's historical accuracy.

Why does Mark tell the story the way he does? That is the really interesting question.

And why does Matthew tell it differently? I will post a link so we can compare the two accounts.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Who is Mark? Peter calls him his "son," but few scholars take him literally because the Pastoral Epistles refer to Timothy and Titus as "my child in the faith.'
This objection overlooks the fact that Peter takes his wife with him on his missionary tours; so it seems natural that their "son" would join them. When Paul escapes from a Jerusalem prison, he immediately goes to Mary's house ( See Acts 12:12). Mary is the mother of John Mark, who is also referred to in Acts simply as "Mark." Why does Peter go there? Because after his escape, he needs to get out of Dodge and he wants his family to know where he is going, so they can join him later! That's the best explanation of why he goes to Mary's house rather than James, the church leader's house. So why doesn't Luke identify Mark as Peter's son here? For the same reason, he never tells us that James is Jesus' brother--Luke is not interested in family relations. If this theory is correct, then Mark's Gospel represents 'Dad's Memoirs."

The foregoing is my theory of who Mark is, but here is a widely accepted standard view:
Quite apart from this theory, Papias learns from Jesus "disciple," "John the Elder "a living voice") that Mark was Peter's interpreter in Rome and wrote the Gospel from Peter's recollections, probably from his catechetical notes. Thus, Justin Martyr of Rome refers to Mark's Gospel as Peter's "Memoir's." The reason why the stories are so terse is because they represent Peter's notes. Mark's status as Peter's memoirs helps explain why both Matthew and L.uke use Marl as their source.

[Full documentation can be provided.]













n
o
I was reading that traditionally Mark was not one of the disciples but an assistant or disciple of Peter.
 
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