I sometimes find it difficult to write on the topics suggested by the RCEL, without someone to prompt me, so I really don’t have much to say today.

Amos 5.6-7, 10-15

Seek the Lord and live, lest the house of Joseph be burned as by fire, and devoured, and there shall be no one to extinguish it in Bethel, 7 you who turn judgment into wormwood, and leave behind justice upon the earth. […] They have harbored hatred toward the one in the gate who rebukes, and have despised the perfect speaker. Therefore, because you have walked all over the poor, and have borne away the choice prey from him, you have built houses of square stone, but shall not dwell in them; you have planted delightful vineyards, and you will not drink their wine. For I have known your many crimes and your mighty sins; foes of the righteous, takers of bribes, who oppress the poor people in the gate. Therefore the one who is prudent in that time will keep silent, for it is an evil time. Seek good, not evil, so that you may live; and the Lord God of troops will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; perhaps the Lord God of troops may have mercy upon the remnant of Joseph.

There still is a “remnant of Joseph” (i.e., the northern tribes), but their numbers continue to dwindle. They are located mainly in Nablus.

Hebrews 4.12-16

For the word of God is alive and effective, and pierces far deeper than even a two-bladed sword, reaching as far as the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and is the discerner of the musings and intentions of the heart. And there is no other being which shall not be revealed in his sight; but all things are naked and opened to his eyes, to whom is our speech. Therefore, having a great high priest who has pierced the heavens, Jesus the son of God, we ought to hold firmly to the confession. For we do not have a chief priest incapable of empathizing with our failings; but one tempted by all things in the same manner as us, yet sinless. Therefore, we shall approach with confidence the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and find grace toward opportune aid.

Mark 1.16-31

And walking beside the sea of Galilee, he sees Simon and his brother Andrew, casting nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I shall make you become fishers for people.” And at once leaving the nets, they followed him.

And moving a little further along, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat adjusting their nets, and at once he called them. And leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands, they followed him.

And they went into Capernaum, and at once that sabbath entering into the synagogue he would teach. And they were astonished at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not like the scribes.

And there was in their synagogue a man in unclean spirit, and shouting, saying, “Ah, what is there between you and us, Jesus the Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you, who you are—the holy one of God.”

And Jesus rebuked him saying, “Hold your tongue and get out of the man.”

And the unclean spirit convulsed him, and shouting in a great voice, he left him.

And all were awed, so as to discuss among themselves, saying, “What is this? What are these new teachings? For in power he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

And his fame went forth in every place, in the whole region of Galilee.

And at once out of the synagogue they came in the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. And the mother-in-law of Simon was bedridden, having a fever; and at once they told him about her. And coming to her he lifted her up, grabbing her hand, and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered to them.

There is an immediacy in Mark which many translators consider a mistake.  The author of this gospel often wrote in the present tense instead of the past (you see this in verse 16).  Ironically, one of the few translations to maintain this effect in the translation is the KJV.

At first I followed the lead of the Scholars’ Version here. Shut up and get out of the man…I thought better of this choice later, and used the more polite, but still curt hold your tongue instead.

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