Mark 1:31

Jesus went up to her and, grasping her hand, raised her up; the fever left her, and she began to take care of them.


a handout a hand-up
we argue to argue

do one do another
leave the distinction

no choice not really
definition is usage

reach and reach again
it is what is done

reaching is service
being reached service

I give to you me
love forever true

hand in hand
whirling twirling

service no service
it is what is


Here Jesus models the “Silence” he imposed on a prior spirit that interfered with living an everyday life. There is no magic formula, no cloth to send-in to a self-proclaimed healer, no mediation.

This all-too-typically unnamed woman would ordinarily be the chief welcomer, the official hostess, and she is not available. Do note how easily the word διακονέω (diakoneō), when connected with women, means they “serve”, but in reference to a male it changes to a formal position carrying a degree of ministerial authority, “deacon”, one who ministers unto.

Elizabeth Moltmann-Wendel gives us helpful language in, The Women Around Jesus:

Time and again, in other Gospels as well, women are said to have ‘served’ – to have been true disciples of Jesus. Peter’s mother-in-law serves. Martha serves, the group of Galilean women serve. This discipleship is never reported of the disciples. Thus in all the Gospels there is still a remnant of ancient experience that women were real followers, wage-earners and participants in the life of Jesus. In Mark, ‘to serve’ is not a humiliating activity but a mutual giving and taking, a self-surrender and mutual acceptance, an exchange of love, tenderness, help and comfort. In that case Jesus did not just have women as disciples; for some circles in the early church they were the real disciples.

In the early days of the Jesus Way, deacons connected the preaching and teaching with the resources of the community so those hungry, naked, and imprisoned would be cared for. Imagine this un-named woman to be an effective deacon. With her healing she is not only freed to minister to Jesus but to get a word out about where he was staying so others could come. This is a deeply-rooted hospitality able to move beyond an immediate setting.

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