Mark 6:5

And he could not work any miracle there, beyond placing his hands on a few infirm persons, and curing them;


healings are not miracles
states an unstateable

our desire for continuity is slow
confused when action exceeds a blink

unable to view reconfigurations
we can only figure a disjunction

our bayou accustomed reaction time
fails in the midst of a whitewater shoot

a community moving from suspicion
to welcoming is miracle-sized

a traumatized individual moving on
fast or slow is healing

salvific acts rejoin lost hopes
along disparate tracks


Rejection leads to counter-rejection. The Giardian Lectionary referenced a sermon by Thomas L. and Laura C. Truby, “Jesus is Cast Out and the Disciples Cast Out” that reflects on the strangeness that mere faith (a gift given us) can control the δύναμιν (dunamis, power, miracle) of a beloved of G*D:

I have always assumed he couldn’t heal because the people lacked faith as though healing depended on their faith. Now I realize he couldn’t heal because nobody came. Oh, a few defied the village ostracism and he healed them, but mostly they didn’t come. Word had gotten out that Jesus was off-limits.

This shift of perspective is one that most commentators are hard pressed to do. The strange situation of faith trumping power (except for a few physical touches) deserves more attention. Faith is not mentioned in most of the healings/miracles/acts of power found in Mark.

Here are the non-faith related acts of power:

1:21-28, in synagogue

1:29-31, mother-in-law

1:32-34, healing all sick

1:40-45, leper

3:1-6, withered hand

4:35-41, calming storm

5:1-20, Gerasene demoniac

6:30-44, feeding the 5000

6:53-56, sick in Gennesaret

7:24-30, Syrophoenician’s daughter

7:31-37, deaf-mute

8:1-10, feeding the 4000

8:22-26, blind man

What conditions have we set up, individually and collectively, to protect ourselves from uncomfortable relationships, to set off-limits?

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