On leaving that place, Jesus went into the district of Judea on the other side of the Jordan. Crowds gathered about him again; and again, as usual, he began teaching them.
a developed usual
in season and out
crossing both ways
with open eyes
as though without
these markers of ours
imposing what’s not here
Jesus’ leaving his time of teaching with the Twelve comes with an arising from the seated position of teachers in his day. Rising is the signal for yet another journey.
Mark has had previous difficulties with the lay of the land. That confusion continues. Did he or did he not cross the Jordan? Arguments continue.
The key thing here is the end of the verse where we hear about palin after palin, again and again, public teaching alternates with tutoring. Whether or not the Transjordan is involved, we can remember back to previous teachings and prepare ourselves for hearing more about this last round of teaching regarding a preference for “little ones” and the depth of simplicity.
Sabin-2157 speaks of Jewish Wisdom Traditions. In the first part of Mark, the rhythm of parables and teachings are key examples. In the second part Sabin sees Chapter 10 as a concentration of this tradition. Rather than stories we have encounters with a social justice bent.
The perspective of primal wholeness prevails in Chapter 10 when Jesus recalls the original unity of man and wife (10–12), holds up the child as the model member of God’s Kingdom (13–16), and counsels the rich young man to return to a state of primal simplicity (17–31).
Looking at the whole book through a Wisdom lens, Sabin notes that this return to a creation-oriented “primal simplicity” is reversed in the chronology of Jesus’ death in chapters 14–15. G*D’s creating acts in Genesis 1 is torn. In chapter 16 this reversal is again reversed with “images of transformation and a new beginning”.
In regard to reversal, we are in a “usual” setting—crowd(s) and teaching. Moving away from an overview, we are ready for Jesus’ standard of reversal to help us think afresh and create anew.