Some folks came ter tha Sun and asked, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
Tha Sun answered in a manner similar ter this:
“The groom’s party eats well at the wedding. Wine flows, fancy food is brought out. All eat as much as they like, for the wedding feast is a time for celebrating. Now is such a time. I am the groom. Those who come to me celebrate with me. Only later, after I have gone, will they recall the good times we enjoyed and mourn and fast.”
Seeing as how many still be confused, he explained his coming out party like this:
“I am not a new patch. I am a new robe to be worn. I am not a new patch to be sown onto your old self. If you try, you will make the tear worse, the terror you feel worse. In the same way Adam and Eve needed new garments to cover their nakedness, so you need my new robe. In the same way Adam and Eve tried to cover over their sin with fig leaves, so you try to put a patch over your sin. It will not work. I alone can clothe you in the righteousness you need.
“I am new wine. Your old wineskin can not hold me. I am too fresh, too alive. Your old self cannot contain my Spirit. You need to be born anew. Only then will you be able to preserve my Spirit within you.”
This be tha sort of thing tha Sun said. Not his exact words, mind ya, but a general idea of what he be saying ’bout wine and wineskins, patches and putting on new garments.
Thar be a joyful wedding. Thar be new wine, tha best ever. Thar be new garments fer tha wedding party.
And ya be invited. Will ya come and be a part of tha groom’s wedding party?
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. – Mark 2:17 (Mark 2:13-17)
Tha Sun went out ter tha lake. Like always a large crowd came ter him, and he began ter teach folks. Whilst walking about, he saw Levi, tha son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax collector’s booth. Most likely this be a toll booth guarded by one or more Roman soldiers, fer back then tha route from Damascus through Capernaum ter tha sea and on down ter Egypt be a major and popular route. ‘Sides which, fer tax collectors such toll booths be lucrative. Why ya might say, toll tax collectors like Levi be gatekeepers.
“Follow me,” tha Sun told Levi. Right off Levi dropped his work, left his station, got up and followed tha Sun.
Some time later, while tha Sun be enjoying dinner at Levi’s home, many other tax collectors and sinners be eating with him and his disciples. Now when John Mark writes “sinners” he means evil folks: folks who ‘ave refused ter follow Skip’s Code of Conduct as interpreted by tha teachers of tha law. Adulterers and thieves and such be drinking and eating and no doubt plotting how ter do more wickedness. This be tha crowd tha Sun dining with.
When tha teachers of the law–who were Pharisees–seen tha Sun eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Now ya might think it odd they doth not ask tha Sun this question. Could be by this point they knowed him ter be smarter than them and they doth not wish ter get into a debate with a feller who knowed more’n them ’bout Skip’s Code.
On hearing such mumbling, tha Sun said ter them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Thar little trick not work: tha Sun drawed ’em in ter a discussion anyways.) “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Think on this a wee little bit: If ya think yer self healthy and in no need of fixing, ya ‘ill miss out on dining with tha Sun. If ya certain ya are righteous, ya ‘ill miss out on dining with tha Sun. If ya kin not think of a single sin fer which ya needs ter confess and repent, ya ‘ill miss out on dining with tha Sun.
Tha Sun: Goes out . . . Walks about . . . Sees folks as they truly be . . . Invites such folks ter walk with him . . .
Ya know who else done this? Here be our clue: A feller and his lass heard the sound of Skipper while he be walking in the Garden in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3:8) Skipper called ter tha feller, “Where are you?” Skipper found tha pair, shared time with tha pair, made garments of skin fer tha naked pair. Skipper clothed them two sinners.
Skipper done this from tha start. Tha Sun doth this ter tha very end of time.
If ya knowed ya ter be sick, naked, broken in some ways — a lying, thieving, reprobate — look about ter see whar tha Sun be enjoying a meal. Then find yer way ter tha table and sit as close ter him as ya dare.
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts. – Mark 2:8 (Mark 2:6-12)
Now some teachers of the law be sitting thar thinking ter themselves,“Why doth this feller say such things? Why, he be speaking things only Skipper ‘as a right ter say! Who can forgive sins but Skip alone?”
This be thar heart.
Right off tha Sun knowed in his spirit what they be thinking, so he said ter them sump’n like this: “Why ya be thinking such nonsense?Which be easier ter say to this poor feller? ‘Your sins be forgiven,’ or, ‘Get up! Take your mat! Walk!’? But so as ya know that the Son of Adam ‘as authority on earth ter fergive sins, I ‘ill tell tha feller: ‘Get up! Take yer mat. Go home.”
Right then tha oddest thing happen: that poor feller who could not walk hopped up, took his mat as ordered, and walked out in full view of them all. Ever one thar be amazed, yer may lay ter that, and they praised Skipper and went on ter say, “We hain’t ne’er seen anything like this!”
No, I reckon not.
Think on this a wee little bit: Law teachers . . . Thinking teachers . . . Doubting teachers . . . Defenders of Skipper teachers . . . be asking “Why” tha Sun talks like he doth and “Who” other than Skip kin fergive sins. ‘Fore we go shaming and blaming teachers of tha law and other teachers who be trained in Skipper’s Code of Conduct, we ought ter check our own spirit. Doth we think we know all thar be ter know ’bout Skip’s Code — all tha “ways,” “whys,” “whats,” and “will” of Skip?
This all knowing Sun . . . This Sun of Adam who be disturbed in his spirit ’bout tha faith of them teachers . . . This Sun of Adam who presented a right fair question ’bout which be easier ter say . . . This Sun of Adam who took time out of fergiving a feller’s sins and healing tha mate in order ter lay out his reasons fer speaking tha way he done . . .
This Sun of Adam gives us tha same charge he gave that feller on that mat:
Get up! (Stop felling sorry fer yer self. Make tha effort ter lift yer chin.) Take up yer mat; take up yer cross! (Put off yer old self – put on tha character of tha Sun.) Go! (Head back ter yer family and friends – tell’em what tha Sun done fer ya.)
Them thar in that home had ne’er seen anything like Sun — nor ‘ave we. If we ‘ill simply step outside, look up and think on how tha sky, sun, stars, moon, air, wind, clouds, rain, and all came ter be in jest tha right way fer our enjoyment, we might hear tha Sun calling ter us: “Ya be fergiven of yer sins. Now go! Sin no more! Tell folks what tha Sun done fer ya!”
“Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come. So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons” – Mark 1:38-39 (Mark 1:38-45)
“Let us go so that I may preach,” says tha Sun. “For that is what I came for.”
Not ter heal, though he did. Not ter cast out demons, though he did. Not ter gather ‘round him disciples and followers, though he did.
But ter preach: that be tha reason tha Sun says he come. Only while he went about preaching in synagogues he also drove out demons.
Now ya may think it odd that folks who come ter tha synagogue would not ‘ave a demon in ‘em, but a good many who gather in that name of the Sun be possessed or oppressed by unclean spirits. Ya only ‘ave ter listen ter thar words and see tha way they act ter know they be under tha power of a spirit not from Skipper.
Some distance away from tha synagogue–fer it be a grave offense fer a feller of this sort ter be in Skipper’s Holy place–a leper come along begging fer relief. Fell ter his knees, he did, begging tha Sun ter, “Make me clean!”
Think on this a wee bit: a leper be an outcast, a feller or lass who folks ‘ill shy away from fer fear of catching what tha leper’s got.
In yer own life be thar a time when folks be standoffish with ya, not inclined ter get close or be seen with ya? Doth ya ‘ave some affliction or condition that leaves ya looking and feeling unclean, unattractive? Ter be sure, sin kin make ya feel unclean. Shame fer something ya done kin make ya feel unclean. Whar ya live, who yer parents be, how ya got ter yer station in life kin leave ya unclean. If any of this be yer situation, know this: tha Sun came fer ya. Why, if ya doubt that be tha case, ya only need ter look at tha heart of tha Sun.
Tha Sun be indignant at tha unfair treatment of that leaper. Upset, was he, at tha way others be shunning tha feller. Moved with compassion, tha Sun said ter tha wretched soul, “I am willing. Be cleansed.”
Cleansed and made whole, that ‘ought ter be what we receive when we gather with them who be in tha Sun.
This leper feller knew tha Sun could cleanse him. Kin ya say tha same ‘bout them ya sit under fer teaching ’bout tha Sun and Skipper? Doth they teach and preach tha Sun’s words with authority or do they pontificate ‘bout how tha Sun loves ya jest as ya are without nary a reason ter be cleansed, changed in ter his character, and made whole? Tha Sun cleans small blemishes and large, only it be on us ter come and cry out, “Cleanse me!”
Tha Sun warned tha leper ter keep his trap shut. “See that you say nothing to anyone,” tha Sun said.
But right off that leper went out and proclaimed freely and ter all what tha Sun done. Now ya might think that be a fine thing, only think on this: from then on tha Sun could no longer publicly enter a city, town, or village. Tha leper got what he needed, but ‘cause he disobeyed tha Sun’s command, others got nary a healing or tha help they wanted. From then on tha Sun stayed in unpopulated areas, but even then folks come ter him from ever where.
Thar be no insignificant directives with that Sun and Skipper. Ever word carries weight and importance. Orders we think ter be of no account, tha Sun sees as ‘aving grave consequences.
Make it yer task ter obey ever word tha Sun commands. Doth not be selfish and horde his blessings fer yer self. If he commands ya ter preach, then preach. If he commands ya ter keep quiet, then hush yer mouth.
Finally, find a gathering of tha Sun’s followers whar cleansing, repentance, confessing of sins, turning from sin and turning towards that Sun be preached and teached.
If ya seek tha power of the Sun, then find them who doth not simply talk ‘bout his power, but demonstrate his power.
Ya ‘ill know if ya come ter tha right place when ya see lives changed, character, motives, and actions of others changed. Ya ‘ill know if ya come ter tha right place when ya see folks be abiding by Skipper’s Code of Conduct. Ya ‘ill know if ya come ter tha right place when ya see folks in tha group loving others more’n they love them selves.
All kin come ter tha sun jest as they be, but tha sun ‘ill never leave folks be–he ‘ill always change them ter be like him.
While it was still dark. . . he was praying. – Mark 1:35
Tha Sun made it a habit ter rise early and get off by himself so he could chat with Skipper. We don’ know what tha pair discussed: could be tha upcoming day, reflections on tha day be fer, a listing of folks tha Sun met and thar needs, words, worries, and such.
Most likely tha Sun not be praying ter get something, but ter get someone: namely, time with his father.
This be our model fer prayer: ter get away from folks and get with our Father, tha Skipper of all. Whilst in tha Garden of Gethsemane tha Sun prayed, “Abba (Pop), Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” In that instance tha Sun prayed fer himself, prayed ter be spared tha pain and torture ter come.
This also be a model fer prayer: ter get a thing we desperately seek. Only we ought ter always keep in mind that what we want might not always align with Skip’s plans.
Could be this pain ya be going through right now be fer tha good of others.
Could be this loss ya suffered be for tha good of others.
Could be tha worry and stress ya be struggling with be ter drive ya in ter tha arms of Skipper.
In all cases, regardless of yer circumstances and needs, get off alone with Skipper. Cry out ter him. Plead with him. Listen ter him. Recite back his words, promises, blessings. Share yer fears with him. Praise him fer listening, caring, loving ya, and sending his Sun ter die so ya could sit in his lap. End by asking Skipper ter glorify himself. If ya do and he do, then what ever ya go through ‘ill work fer tha good of others–and sometimes fer tha good of yer own self.
If tha very Sun of Skipper found it necessary ter get away with Skip, we might ought ter rise early and head off ter a solitary place ter be with Skip, as well.
News of him spread everywhere. -Mark 1:28 (Mark 1:26-28)
All be amazed at tha power and authority 0f tha Sun when he appears be fer ya. A good many ‘ill also form small groups and begin ter discuss and debate among themselves tha meaning of what he be sharing with ’em. Folks love ter debate ’bout such stuff. Them who seen tha Sun command an unclean spirit ter come out of folks whar shocked that demons obeyed tha Sun.
But not tha Sun. He knowed he had authority ter cast out uncleanness. What be more shocking ter him whar that so few folks whar willing ter believe. Hain’t much changed. Folks still be stuck in disbelief.
Tha unclean spirit tossed that poor feller in ter convulsions. We be acting similar when we twist our selves in ter knots trying to deny tha Sun’s power, deny tha power of his words, deny his authority over us, deny that what ‘as control over us really be sin.
“I be born this way,” some ‘ill say. “I be made in Skipper’s image. What ya call ‘sin’ be natural,” some says. “‘Sides, Skipper loves ever one and that includes me.”
True, Skip does love ever one but Skip hates sin.
What Skip calls sin be listed plain in his Code of Conduct. But them living in sin, and that be all of us at one time, kin not see how our acts be exactly tha sins Skipper hates. We cry out in a loud voice, “I be free in tha Sun and Skipper!” Only we not be free at all: we be slaves ter sin and don’ even know it.
Doth not be amazed at tha Sun’s power. Simply believe that he be Lord of all. Instead, be amazed that ya refuse ter obey and honor him. Stand shocked in that revelation and ya may begin ter get a glimer of tha wretchedness tha Sun sees in ya: sees and wishes ter cast out.
Once ya be truly changed by tha Sun, not simply know of it, not simply discuss and debate about him, but be healed and changed. . . . ya ‘ill make it yer task ter spread tha news ‘bout tha Sun ter all, of this ya kin be sure.
A man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” – Mark 1:23 (Mark 1:21-28)
Think on this a wee bit: even though them who heard tha Sun speaking and teaching with authority be wagging thar tongues on account of tha Sun be a carpenter and son of a carpenter, tha devil’s demons knew all thar was ter know ‘bout him.
Tha Sun be thar ter conduct business of a holy nature. Tha Sun be from Nazareth. Tha Sun be intent on destroying unclean spirits and tha power they held over folks. Tha Sun be of a holy nature.
Tha unclean spirit knowed all this but them scribes who ‘ave memorized Skip’s Code hain’t nary a clue as ter who tha Sun be.
This be how things go ter day. Some smart folks who know all ‘bout tha Sun and Skipper hain’t got nary a clue as ter tha real power and purpose behind why tha pair wants ter ‘ave a relationship with us.
Ter such folks tha Sun says tha same ter them as he did ter tha unclean spirit: “Be quiet!” Then, after getting all twisted up in convulsions and confusion and crying out with a loud voice ’bout how none of tha Sun’s words, commands, and acts makes sense, such folks finally give up and fall down exhausted at tha Sun’s feet.
“Come out!” says tha Sun. Now some thinks “coming out” be ya announcing what yer gender and affections really be about and fer, but tha Sun not be talking ’bout that sort of coming out. No, his command ter “come out” be a charge for tha unclean spirit ter skedaddle from a feller , so tha poor soul kin get one step closer ter tha holiness of Skipper.
When ya come face ter face with tha Sun and see him fer who he is, ya ‘ill get a might scared, on account of ya begin ter see his holiness and power. If ya hain’t nary enjoyed such an encounter, ask tha Sun fer such a meeting. An invite like that ‘ill always be one he’ll confirm, of that ya kin be sure.