Sunday I continued my series of sermons on Mark’s gospel. My approach to preaching Mark 4:1-34 (“Ears To Hear“) was guided in part by N.T. Wright’s insight into Jesus’s preaching of these parables in Jesus and the Victory of God.
Jesus knew his kingdom-announcement was subversive. It would be drastically unwelcome, for different reasons, to the Romans, to Herod, and also to zealous Jews and their leaders, whether official or not. He must therefore speak in parables, ‘so that they may look and look but never see’. (sic) It was the only safe course. Only those in the know must be allowed to glimpse what Jesus believed was going on. These stories would get past the censor–for the moment. (237)
In light of Wright’s analysis, I attempted to portray the manner in which those in the know were able to glimpse what Jesus believed was happening and the censors missed the point entirely. Even as I portray this misunderstanding by others, I wonder if I’ve ever been the censor past which Jesus has needed to sneak his message.