Mark 4:12

‘Though they have eyes, they may see without perceiving; and though they have ears, they may hear without understanding; otherwise some day they might turn and be forgiven.’”


ain’t it great
to be in on a secret
setting you apart
in a desired way
free from vanity’s sway

secret holders
are in the top 1%
of meaning seekers
no matter how much lower
they are on other scales

secrets give privilege
over the rich and famous
powerful elites and hidden cabals
eventually our superiority will prevail
a last laugh will be ours

in a world of secrets
it is a comfort to know
answers written on hands
put every test
at our command

we knew it
getting one part of one parable
into an explainable form
is just enough to earn
heaven’s last slot


It is verses like this that make me want to throw up my hands and not go any further into this book. There are difficulties galore here. It is easy to note this verse as a reference to Isaiah 6:9–10. But that ease goes away when we see the way in which Christians have used this as condemnation of Jews as a people.

This verse requires the previous one for connecting purpose with results and the distance between them poses grammatical problems that reflect theological ones.

This bait-and-switch use parables, turning them into riddles, runs counter to Mark’s presentation of Jesus as astonishing crowds through his use of parables to teach many things. The assertion here is that he has done so to both confuse and condemn those who are drawn to him.

These details pale when considering μήποτε ἐπιστρέφωσιν (mēpote epistrepsōsin, “otherwise turn”) which leads into a difficult distinction between “repentence” and “conversion” and how they relate together. Parsing things out at this level is Wilderness (with a capital W). This is what keeps us from the forgiveness that both imply. We get so caught on proper procedures, we lose track of the procedure-breaking quality of forgiveness that has no dependence on such.

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