Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mark, Chapter 9: Disciples & Tiaras

Jesus promises some of the disciples that the end of the world will happen within their lifetimes. Whoops! Then he goes up a hill with Peter, James and John and does his Sparkle Magic trick. Moses and Elijah appear. For some reason, this makes Peter think of DIY and he offers to build them huts. Then the disciples blink and Moses and Elijah are gone. As they go down the mountain, Jesus swears the others to secrecy until he rises from the dead.

The disciples change the subject, asking why the prophecies say that Elijah must come back from the dead before the Messiah will arrive. Jesus says that Elijah is on his way to get things ready, then asks them why the scriptures say the Messiah will be treated badly. Then he changes his whole story, saying Elijah was already there and people were rude to him. Apparently, Elijah is John the Baptist.

By now we've reached the rest of the disciples, who are surrounded by a large crowd. Jesus asks for the 411 and someone from the crowd pipes up that his son is possessed by a spirit that won't let him talk and makes him foam at the mouth. The disciples have been unable to come up with a cure. Jesus calls them all faithless and grumbles that he simply cannot wait to die and be done with them. Then he asks for the kid, who immediately falls to the ground and starts playing his bit. He promises that all things are possible to him that believeth. (v. 23) Which is totally awesome for him, because it means that anything good that happens to you is to his credit, whereas anything bad is your fault. The father replies that he believes, since it's not like Jesus gave him anti-psychotics. Anyway, the spirit comes out and the boy is cured.

The disciples pull Jesus off to the side and ask why the trick didn't work for them. Jesus says this particular spirit was only responsive to prayer and fasting, as if nobody had ever tried it before.

They head off towards Galilee, and Jesus starts talking about his death some more. As they arrive, he mentions that he heard the disciples arguing earlier and asks why. They don't want to admit that they were squabbling about which of them was Ultimate Queen Grand Wizard Royal Nacho Supreme Burrito. Jesus replies If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all (v. 35) thus ensuring that the argument will never, ever be settled. He picks up some random child from who knows where and tells them Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. (v. 37)

The disciples change the subject randomly to a guy they saw somewhere doing their same dog-and-devil trick. Jesus says it's fine, the dude is on their side and For he that is not against us is on our part (v. 40). Then he starts babbling about cutting off hands and feet and plucking out eyes and worms and salt.

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