Sunday, April 18, 2010

Holy Spittle Batman

There - does that get your attention! We began a study of Mark's gospel today with the Dawn Treaders. Bob set out an outline in Latin as a game to note how many sections there might be in a gospel. Mark has about 118 out of 365 total divisions of the fourfold gospel as note by Kurt Aland in his parallel gospels. You can see all the breakdowns of the texts here. Our lesson of course did not go that far this morning but the children did see a far distant horizon and a rich set of possibilities.

We concentrated for 20-25 minutes on the healing of the deaf man with a speech impediment. Jesus takes 7 actions in this story and each action is visible - as they would have to be for a deaf man to hear them. So not Latin, not Hebrew, not Greek, not Aramaic, but sign language - seven significant actions
  • taking him aside from the multitude privately, - personal, one to one
  • he put his fingers into his ears, easy to see - pointing to the problem
  • and he spat - easy to see
  • and touched his tongue; - perhaps he spit into his own hand and touched the tongue with the spittle
  • and looking up to heaven, - here is the source
  • he sighed, - pray and listen to God's sigh also
  • and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened." - a visible language - say it EF-PHA-THA lip readable
 I encouraged the children to look for the ways that Our Lord will speak to them in their own personal language this week. I told them also to ask him for a hint.

We also discussed briefly the Messianic secret that is evident in the first half of the Gospel. Summary: personal prayer, real healing, and mystery. I told them we could from this first lesson spend much more time than 20 minutes examining the relationship of this short passage to the whole Scripture. I encouraged them to read the whole Gospel. Next week Ella will prepare chapter 1.

Reference: Synopsis of the Four Gospels, Greek-English Edition of the Synopsis Quattuor Evangelium, Edited by Kurt Aland (6th edition) - available in the UVIC library.

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