Mark 9:30

Leaving that place, Jesus and his disciples went on their way through Galilee; but he did not wish anyone to know it,


travel for travel’s sake
carries an internal wilderness
perpetually on retreat

new sites and sights
bring insights
unrealized ’til now

first awkward rhythms
add their energy
to walk a new path

a surprising cuisine
extends an already wide table
storing stories for another time

even time slips surly bonds
making more precious still
unusually usual moments

like a shadow too bright
everywhere as nowhere
this time lingers


This transition gives opportunity to review the import of Galilee in Mark’s Story. Eventually Galilee will be where the story comes together beyond the story (16:7) and we are able to meet Jesus again for the first time (reading Marcus Borg is helpful here).

In Chapter 1, Galilee is where Jesus comes from before we have baptism and repentance and changed lives (1:9). After Baptizer John’s arrest, it is where Jesus first takes the same good news with which he was baptized (1:14).

It was in Galilee that the first disciples were called to join this baptismal message (1:16). Note that these calls occurred while Jesus was just passing through Galilee and now a specific teaching about an end to their discipleship will round out their call.

The work of Jesus in teaching his disciples spilled into the region and news was spreading about Jesus, if not “good news” (1:28). At this point the focus is on healings in Galilee (1:39). This has echoes as people from Galilee travel to other places to witness additional healings and exorcisms (3:7).

Leading citizens of Galilee are complicit in Herod’s failures foreshadowing Jesus’ hometown failure and death in Jerusalem (6:21).

Most recently Galilee is a pivot point in Jesus’ journeys (7: 31).

Galilee will then become a promised land (14:28), present at his death through women from Galilee (15:41), and a place for a new call (16:7).

Here, Galilee is a Disciples’ Retreat to clarify the consequence of living compassion in the midst of Empire, Power and Vanity.

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