Mark 6:30

When the apostles came back to Jesus, they told him all that they had done and all that they had taught.


in the meantime
while others are losing
heads and all attached
these have been healing
not to mention teaching
infusing the poor
imparting strength
encouraging perspective

first only authorized
to touch to anoint to do
a wisdom found in experience
rose from previously laid hints
fingers must have their say
even if sister tongue translates
healings aura is more than color
demarcating can’t from will

meddling with mouth and hand
is always available
no matter the constraint
regardless of station
unfettered from ambition
routinized amid fear
told we’re not beautiful
a favorable day is here


This is the only place in Mark where we find the word “apostle”. Mann301 says, “It indicates a time when the word had fairly specific functional meanings, carrying the sense of commissioning for work associated with Jesus himself (e.g., preaching and exorcism).”

Well, we are now back at the ranch. Remember the twelve who had been sent out, commissioned, to have authority over unclean spirits? Adjunct to this, they also preached repentance and anointed with oil. People were “cured”.

Those who sense a call to join with the Jesus story today might well wrestle with the healing ministry of the twelve apostles. What would keep this from being a part of what it means for them to “fish for people”?

It will be easy to discount the authority issue in favor of simply preaching or using a liturgical technology such as oil. Where stories of healing abound, there is less dust shaking than where this foundational matter is avoided. [No, there is no double-blind study about this, just a flat out assertion awaiting testing.]

Having a new title, Apostle, was just enough to go to the heads of the Twelve. Store these few lines away for in three chapters there will be a long teaching for the Twelve Apostles about ranking within the community. You might already be wondering how the crowds would react to knowing that moving from being a part of a crowd to an official follower of Jesus will bring greater demands not privileges.

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