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1 Commentary

1.1 Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Deuteronomy 18:15 The L ORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me
– Moses gives a prophecy that a new prophet is coming.

Deuteronomy 18:16 If I hear the voice of the L ORD my God any more, or ever
again see this great fire, I will die. – Apparently, the theophany was too
much for the people to bear.

Deuteronomy 18:17

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their
own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall
speak to them everything that I command. – Post Jesus, it is difficult to see
that this text applies to anyone else.

Deuteronomy 18:19 I myself will hold accountable. – God reserves the right to

Deuteronomy 18:20 that prophet shall die – Likewise, anyone who speaks a false
word will be judged.

1.2 Psalm 111

Psalm 111:1 Praise the L ORD! – This command by the psalmist shows his dedi-
cation to the L ORD.

Psalm 111:2 Great are the works of the L ORD – One reason for praise, is that the
L ORD has done mighty things.

Psalm 111:3

Psalm 111:4 the L ORD is gracious and merciful – The work of the L ORD is not
limited to huge activities like creating and maintaining the universe. It also
includes forgiving the most insignificant person that ever has lived.

Psalm 111:5 he is ever mindful of his covenant – No matter what we have done,
the L ORD never goes back on His Word.

Psalm 111:6

Psalm 111:7

Psalm 111:8

Psalm 111:9 He sent redemption to his people – Post Jesus, is it difficult to hear
this verse without thinking of what Jesus has done for His people.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the L ORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who
practise it have a good understanding. – It seems that we in the “post-
modern” age with all of its monsters that we serve have forgotten who our
real master.

1.3 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul tells his audience that food does not commend us to God,
thus one can eat food offered to idols if no one is offended. This recommenda-
tion by Paul seems to be different from the charge in Acts to stay away from the
defilement of idols. However, if Paul’s version is correct, it appears that Paul fol-
lowed the council’s recommendation since he collected an offering for Jerusalem
(I Corinthians 16:1-4, Romans 15:25-26.).

1 Corinthians 8:1 Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. – This contrast between
intellect and love is stark. One gives us tools to live alone wile the other
requires another.

1 Corinthians 8:2

1 Corinthians 8:3

1 Corinthians 8:4

1 Corinthians 8:5 Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or
on earth–as in fact there are many gods and many lords – This could be
referring to our gods that we create.

1 Corinthians 8:6 there is one God – Despite what so many of us believe, there
is only one God.

1 Corinthians 8:7 It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge – The
confession that Jesus is Lord or that there is one God is not love, but instead

1 Corinthians 8:8 We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we
do. – This reasoning can only be done by those who have the correct under-

1 Corinthians 8:9 this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-
block to the weak. – There are many items in our current day discussion
about what we can and cannot do fall into this category. They hurt the weak.

1 Corinthians 8:10

1 Corinthians 8:11

1 Corinthians 8:12 But when you thus sin against members of your family, and
wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. – This is a
practical example of doing to the least of these you do it unto me.

1 Corinthians 8:13

1.4 Mark 1:21-28

He (Jesus) is an activist. His ministry will be one of conflict – most
especially with the powers of evil. If Jesus is the herald of the king-
dom of God, he is also its agent. Jesus is himself possessed – by God’s

While many of the healing stories provide examples of the power of

faith, exorcisms have a rather different function. They offer no ex-
ample of faith at all. The possessed have no control of themselves;
the demons speak as they choose. These stories are about deliverance
greater than anyone can even request, for people who are unable to
ask for help.2
Donald H. Juel and Patrick R. Keifert, ‘A Markan Epiphany: Lessons from Mark 1’, Word &
World, 8 (1988):1, p. 83.

We ought not to miss the risk of someone like Jesus. It takes very
little to destroy the stability of a society; we live just a few steps from
chaos. Jesus refused to settle with life as it was; he did not accept
diseased and broken lives as inevitable. His assault on behalf of God’s
kingdom was costly, however. It required trust in him alone. There
was no perspective from which his work could be evaluated. He made
up his own rules. And people were afraid, particularly those who were
responsible for the political and religious well-being of the people.3

There is something comfortable about living in a world in which the

rules are clear, even if we do not always win. If we can at least un-
derstand the losses – if we can blame viruses or weather patterns or
air pollution – life may seem more tolerable. It may well be, how-
ever, that our peace of mind is more expensive than we realize. We
may be comfortable with a god drastically reduced in size who can-
not be blamed for the world’s evils. But that also means we are ulti-
mately victims of a world beyond our control, a world that holds little
Mark’s stories promise far more. They speak of a God who has power
to heal and to drive out evil. And they promise that the God in whose
hand creation rests has chosen to disclose himself in Jesus. The promises
may well strike us as risky. Praying for healing and deliverance sug-
gests that God has the power to help and that he is involved in the
world. Such a God cannot be manipulated and must simply be trusted.
We can easily learn to hate a God with such power. His failure to act
where we believe God ought to act becomes a problem. The stakes
are high. In thinking about these texts, it is important to recognize the
forces within us that resist faith in such a God and that recoil at such

Our God is not fat and inattentive.5 God does takes sides and God is “attentive
to his (sic) special interests.”6
Passion is the enemy of the current reality.
Juel and Keifert, ‘A Markan Epiphany’, p. 84.
Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination, (Fortress Press, 1978), p. 24.

Mark 1:21 Capernaum – This is known in Hebrew as the “village of Hanum”
and is known as a prosperous place that supported fishing along with agri-
sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. – In Greek sabbath is
dative plural (ςάββασιν) and it could indicate a single day or multiple days.
Synagogue is both a place that one gathers and a group of people that come
together. In Mark’s account, Jesus does not enter into a Synagogue after His
rejection in Mark 6:2.
Note: Only the ritually clean could be in the synagogue. Somehow this un-
clean man made it into the assembly. Maybe Jesus did not touch the man
because this would make Him unclean (Leviticus 5:2). However, this idea
does not seem to bear much weight in Mark since Jesus touches the man
with leprosy (Mark 1:41). But in both healings, it is the Word that makes
the man whole (Mark 1:26-27; 1:42)

Mark 1:22 They were astounded at his teaching – The people in Mark are con-
tinually amazed at what happens.8 Despite telling us that Jesus is a good
teacher, the narrator gives us very little of this teaching.9
as one having authority – This leadership will be shown as one willing to
serve, to suffer, and to die for others.

Mark 1:23 unclean spirit – The Greeks preferred the term daemon.10 The use
of “unclean” tells us that something is not right since it is in the wrong

Mark 1:24 What have you to do with us – In the world of tribes, this phrase
indicates that the other person has no claim of authority.12
the Holy One of God – This is an infrequently unused title. It is found in the
New Testament only here Luke 4:34 and John 6:69.
John R. Donahue, S.J. and Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.; S.J. Daniel J. Harrington, editor, The
Gospel of Mark, Volume 2, Sacra Pagina Series, (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002),
p. 78.
Ibid., p. 79.
Ibid., p. 80.

Irony is found throughout Mark’s account. The daemons know that Jesus is
God’s Holy One but the leaders do not know who He is and accuse Him of
being a daemon (Mark 3:30).13

Mark 1:25 Jesus rebuked him – The verb translated as rebuked (ἐπιτιμάω) is a
legal term that means to place penalty.14
Be silent, and come out of him! – The healing without touch shows the
power of Jesus.

Mark 1:26

Mark 1:27 What is this? – This give us a chance to hear the crowd’s reaction.

Mark 1:28

Brueggemann, Walter, The Prophetic Imagination, (Fortress Press, 1978).

Donahue, S.J., John R. and Harrington, S.J., Daniel J.; Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.,
editor, The Gospel of Mark, Volume 2, Sacra Pagina Series, (Collegeville,
MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002).

Juel, Donald H. and Keifert, Patrick R., ‘A Markan Epiphany: Lessons from Mark
1’, Word & World, 8 (1988):1, pp. 80 – 85.

Juel and Keifert, ‘A Markan Epiphany’, p. 83.
Donahue and Harrington, Mark, p. 80.