Mark 8:17

and, noticing this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about your being short of bread? Don’t you yet see or understand? Are your minds still so slow or comprehension?

resistance is too mild a word
for our avoidance of connection
were we interested in changed hearts
we’d attend to poetics
instead of first definitions

there is more to bread than yeast
G*D is more than astonishment
intended goals keep shifting
self-measurements are ambiguous
understanding lags behind literalism

let’s review
what’s G*D up to
still a bit vague
things have been too fast
for us to read our notes

One of the difficulties of translating is an unrecognized bias brought to the task. The word γνούς (gnous, knowing) is better translated as “becoming aware”. In church speak it is all too easy to make Jesus into an all-knowing and all-wise mini-god who has foreknowledge of everyone and everything.

It helps to remember the setting—a boat at sea. The size craft to transport these thirteen (a number picked out but unreliable at this distance) would probably allow an overhearing of conversations, even if a small group were consciously trying to quietly work something out. We might even wonder where on this boat they could have gone to hold their conversation apart from Jesus.

And so, “As Jesus became aware of the tangent the Twelve were taking, he brought them back to awareness.”

The Greek puts it simply, why do you not yet νοέω (noeō, perceive) and συνίημι (suniēmi, understand). These are valuable tools we often set aside in the heat of communal conversation to arrive at a too-easy resolution of whatever question is at hand.

Somehow we cease defining or clarifying the data or question on which we are going to attempt to make a judgment. We massage and massage until we have reduced a presenting issue into our current, and thus limited, categories of meaning. In so doing we pre-ordain the outcome will be one we already know and can safely sidestep its implication of change in our behavior.

In many ways the hardening of our heart is a direct result of having hardened our head.

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