September 5

Mark 7:31-37

“Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” vs. 36

Readers have long wondered about a peculiarity in the gospel of Mark. Some have called it a mystery, and they’re referring to Mark’s account of Jesus’ repeated efforts to keep his messianic ministry a secret. New Testament scholars have debated this for centuries and many have written books that provide solutions to the mystery. Of course, since it is a mystery, and Mark isn’t around to provide explanations, all of what they write is speculation, something that all of them love to do. In fact, it’s something we enjoy doing too, and most of our conversations would be a lot shorter if we stopped speculating about stuff. The truth is that we don’t know precisely what Jesus was up to–the best we can do is say that according to Mark, he loved privacy. And so do we! At least the introverts among us do–and a good number of extroverts too! No matter how much we’re needed by others, we need private time, precious minutes in the course of a busy day when we can recharge our spiritual batteries, and find energy for loving. The texts tell us that Jesus spent such time in prayer–and the more isolated he was the better. Occasionally, in order to get such moments he said “no” to people in need. Now, this is likely not the answer to the “mystery” of Mark, but it is good guidance for our busy, busy lives.

Thought for the Day: Where do I find my privacy?

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