BIAY – Mark 2-3 – Poking the Bear

If Jesus was walking around today, I think he’d really like guerrilla theater.  I think he would love doing things that just get a reaction from people.  He really liked poking the bear.  After his healing of the paralyzed man at the beginning of chapter 2, he proceeds to call a tax collector and have dinner with him and his friends (and is criticized for eating with “tax collectors and sinners”), pushes back about the idea of fasting, teaches something contrary to normal understandings of the sabbath, and then deliberately uses a healing to make a point about healing on the sabbath.  We like to think of Jesus as only the nice looking guy who is holding the cute lamb in his arms but the reality is that Jesus was a provocateur and was not afraid to push buttons.  Sometimes that’s necessary to make a point and illustrate the need for a new understanding.  

Jesus doing this puts him in the same line of the prophets who came before him.  Just look at chapter 4 of Ezekiel and the ways that Ezekiel was called to physically represent God’s messages.  Other prophets did similarly.  

Sometimes, we need to poke the bear.  (But the bear isn’t usually as cute or non-threatening as this one)

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