Jesus’ radical inversion of community values in Mark 9

The Sunday gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 16 in Year B is Mark 9.30–37. In our reading of Mark, we have leap-frogged from the confession at Ceasarea Philippi, over the Transfiguration (which is considered at other times in the lectionary) and the following deliverance episode, to a short cluster of sayings, though stopping short of … Continue Reading

Did the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 teach Jesus not to be racist?

The gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 14 in Year B is Mark 7.24-37, which includes the episode of Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophoenician woman that often brings readers up short, containing as it does what appears to be a rather shocking insult. Jesus is seeking to withdraw from public attention, needing some time for rest … Continue Reading

Jesus the bread of life in John 6

We continue through our careful reading of John 6 as an intermission from Mark’s gospel, and on Trinity 9 in Year B the gospel reading is John 6.24–35. Having romped through 21 verses last week, which include the Fourth Gospel’s lengthier version of the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on water (though in a … Continue Reading

The feeding of the 5000 in John 6

The lectionary takes us from famine to feast—metaphorically and literally!—as we move from the sparse verses about Jesus’ ministry in Mark 6 to the lavish feast of both the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on the water in John 6. Whilst we might have struggled to find a sermon on last week’s readings, there … Continue Reading

Jesus is rejected at Nazareth in Mark 6

The gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 5 in Year B is Mark 6.1–13, and is yet another example of Mark’s highly concise storytelling that is packed with theological narrative significance. Once more the lectionary does us a slight disservice; the reading combines the story of those taking offence at Jesus in his home town with … Continue Reading