Mark 8:26

Jesus sent him to his home, and said, “Do not go even into the village.” 

you can go home again
it is just not the same home
from whence you have come

nostalgic homes are fantastical
reshapers of tomorrow into yesterday
with nothing left for today

a parade of homes hopes for more
than a settled bungalow for two
nestled safely away from care

a next home is a seedbed
for raising a new village
and then composting itself

of villages and homes there is no end
while eyes are opened
and hearts trust change

The word behind “sent” is ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, apostle, one commissioned).

This sets up a tension between being commissioned as a prophet or ambassador or disciple (presumably with a message to be delivered) and the injunction to not go into his hometown (6:1–6). While modern translations usually have a footnote about an alternative translation, there are those such as Mann335 who prefer the alternative translation of “do not tell anyone in the village”, which is an even stronger tension.

Another place of uncertainty has to do with where “home” is. This is the same word that is used after the feeding of 4,000. Having received whatever teaching and/or healing was available, the crowd was fed and then sent on their way home, which is presumed to be at some distance. Adding stories together we find a new location of “home”—literally, where the heart is (hint: think physically here).

Along with the recent “looking up” language, this story concludes one section and is prelude to the conclusion of Mark. Jesus’ instruction to not tell anyone about the wonder just experienced leaves us hanging. We don’t know if this now-no-longer-blind man was like all the others who broke silence or if he followed through on it and was an anonymous witness to wonder wherever he wandered.

It is this uncertainty that is important to begin dealing with. At some point the reader is going to have to decide how they are going to deal with what they have read and experienced through their reading. What will I do? What will you do?

It is this uncertainty of response that also sets us up for the next scenes about typology and Messiah.

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