The Voice of the Shepherd

When studying biblical literature, it’s easy to fall into the trap of attempting to lock down the meaning of the Bible’s characters and symbols. For example, students of the Bible often assume that “Egypt is evil,” or, “Assyria is evil,” ignoring contradictory evidence in the text. “Egypt and Assyria,” proclaims Isaiah, will be “a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.’” (Isaiah 19:24-25) It’s not that any of these nations are good or evil—in the Bible, no one is good but God—it’s that their value pertains strictly to the Lord’s commandment. If they serve the Lord’s teaching, they function as the Lord’s people, as Paul explains in Galatians, “the Israel of God,” no matter their nationality.

In Mark, the crowds, like Egypt and Assyria, seem to have a negative connotation. For the better part of five chapters, the mobs fawning over Jesus have obstructed his mission to proclaim the Father’s teaching; but does that mean the “crowds are evil?” On the contrary, like Egypt, Assyria AND Israel, their narrative value must be constantly reevaluated relative to the commandment. In Mark 6, the situation with the crowds may look the same, but as the Good Book teaches, human beings should never trust what they see. The only thing that counts is what they hear from the voice of the Shepherd, crying out in the wilderness. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 6:30-44.

Listen: http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/5442472/TBAL%20Episode%20163.mp3

Episode 163 Mark 6:30-44; Subscribe: http: // feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature (http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature); “Doobly Doo” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

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