It’s not a biography as much as an extended CV. The information is organised by category not chronology, so far.
The first few chapters were background and credentials. Then Jesus’ manifesto, 3 chapters of mission statement and vision. Now a bunch of significant actions are grouped together to make the point of his divinity.
The theme is Jesus’ supernatural power – a healing, a resurrection, controlling weather, driving out demons. They make it clear that these are just examples, he does it constantly.
The passage is interested in peoples responses, and Jesus’ reactions. Their’s vary – the disciples are chided for fearing their story might end in drowning (as if!). The most faith is found in a roman soldier. Tellingly, Jesus responds that he has nowhere to lay his head, and it’s recorded that the response of the town where he drove demons into a pig herd is to demand he leave the region.
The drumbeat of rejection by his own, the Jews, has been sounding since chapter one. The book is written for them, the old testament echos are constant.
Despite the familiarity Jesus still provokes and surprises me. He tells the leper to keep his healing on the down low. So was it done from compassion more than to show he was God? A follower asks time out for his father’s funeral arrangements, and Jesus says no… bad boss! But he won’t disguise the urgency and importance of his life.
It’s shaping up to be a stressful week – I won’t go into it. The love of Jesus feels like a given that doesn’t erase the hardness of this world.
In the short term. Jesus had to play it by ear, string it along, buy time and make hard choices, that’s clear from this passage. Which is ironic given he has the power to tell the waves to calm.
The devils temptation was to use his power to take short cuts. It illustrates the dilemma of evil, I suppose.
Waiting for the few to pass through the narrow gate. Why? Love? The shepherd gives most time to the lost sheep.