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Just beneath the surface of walking on the water

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  • Gentile, David
    Hello all, I think there may be other indicators in Mark that he thinks the old covenant is void. Feedback appreciated. We can look again at the yeast of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 15, 2006
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      Hello all,



      I think there may be other indicators in Mark that he thinks the old
      covenant is void. Feedback appreciated.



      We can look again at the "yeast of the Pharisees". Mark 8:17f - Aware of
      their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no
      bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do
      you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you
      remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many
      basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?" "Twelve," they replied. "And when
      I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of
      pieces did you pick up?" They answered, "Seven." He said to them, "Do
      you still not understand?"

      Here we have 12 for the 12 tribes of Israel, and 7 for the 7 days of
      creation. The first feeding is in Jewish territory is for the 12 tribes
      of Israel, and then the second that takes place in Gentile territory is
      for all of creation. We are moving from the 12 loaves of the bread of
      the old covenant. Leviticus 24:5f "Take fine flour and bake twelve
      loaves of bread...This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly,
      Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting
      covenant." to the bread of the new covenant, Mark 14:22 "While they were
      eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his
      disciples, saying, 'Take it; this is my body.'" Mark first tells us
      that the Pharisees have lost their "acceptability to God", they now have
      "leaven" in them, and by extension we should understand that bread of
      the old covenant is now filled with leaven, and is unacceptable. The old
      covenant is over; the new one is in force.

      There is a passage to indicate this transition in the healing of the
      Syro-Phoenician woman's daughter, Mark 7:24-30, "the children should be
      fed first". Mark then follows this with the healing of a deaf and dumb
      man, signaling he is about to start revelation of the new covenant
      Matthew has Mark's discussion of the yeast of the Pharisees, but removes
      Mark's references to 12 and 7. Again, Matthew does not want to declare
      the old covenant void.

      We can also look at the stories at sea in Mark. In Mark 4:35-41 the
      waters obey the command of Jesus. Then in Mark 7:45-52 Jesus comes
      walking on water through the storm. The disciples may have some trouble
      seeing him, "he looks like a ghost". We are then told the disciples have
      not understood (about the bread), and that their "hearts have been
      hardened". By the references to a water miracle and "hardening hearts"
      Mark is evoking Exodus. Now in the two miracles at sea we can see first
      Moses commanding the waters of the red sea in Exodus, and then the new
      Exodus of Isaiah 43:16f "Thus says Yahweh who made a way through the
      sea, a path in the raging waters...Look I am doing something new, it
      emerges; can you not see it?" Again we have a theme of moving from the
      old covenant to the new. Other echoes of this old and new theme in Mark
      are found in Mark 12:1f, the parable of the tenants, and 3:21-22 old and
      new wineskins.

      Mark immediately follows the second water miracle and his criticism of
      the disciples "Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to
      hear?" with the healing of the blind man, and then shifts his focus to
      epiphany. We move from a section that talks about bread frequently
      6:30-8:21 to one focused on revelation, beginning with Peter's
      profession of faith in 8:27f, and continuing with the transfiguration,
      the predictions of the passion, and I would argue Mark's message of
      salvation - faith in God and forgiveness for others. Here Mark may be
      seen as following Deuteronomy 8:3..."to teach you that man does not live
      on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD"

      I'm beginning to think that almost nothing in Mark is accidental.

      Dave Gentile

      Riverside, IL





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