Then Jesus called the people to him again, and said,“Listen to me, all of you, and mark my words.
clarifications have been made
wriggling from communal values
exempts us from humility
learnings from one setting
are connected with others
listen and implement
proof will be in the pudding
Sneeches will finally feast together
when understanding is enacted
Transitions are not easy for Mark. We were in Gennesaret with crowds coming from everywhere to touch and be touched; for healing. Then a smaller group of Pharisees and Scribes encircled Jesus with a question about the eating habits of his followers. Now, on “another occasion” (?), or “again” (?), or an even larger crowd of “all”(?) we are in the midst of a larger crowd that either displaces the Pharisees and Scribes or dilutes their presence.
The crowd will only be here for 3 short verses before we are back to a private setting with Jesus’ people.
It sounds like another parable is about to be on its way. “Listen” and “understand” gets us ready to have to work through a confusion.
Wright90 puts it this way:
That’s why Jesus had to use parables, not ony here but on many other occasions. It was the only way he could say some of the most devastating things he wanted to say. If you’re trying to tell your own world that it’s going the wrong way, that its heroes fought for the wrong cause and its martyrs died in the wrong ditch, you’ll be careful how you do it. It’s got to be cryptic. The Pharisees needed to be answered (clearly the dispute was not private; Jesus had to make some kind of statement), but Jesus was not about to hand them an obvious propaganda victory.
This is a different way of going than John the Baptist or Prophets of Yore. One of the differences is the occupation by the Romans and their Sadducean supporter. To have a chance to be heard, everyone needs to be kept off kilter. Surprise direct actions of healing and exorcism, hit-and-run teachings, and cryptic responses all play their part in building just enough of a base that the possibility of being an actual catalyst is given enough time to do its work.
These are skills that can be developed if we listen and understand beyond the particulars of a setting. If we don’t pick up on Jesus’ process as well as content, we won’t partner with him for long.