The Gospel of Love

This is a very wordy passage needs some explanation. In order to understand this passage we need to go back to the exodus story. After the Israelites had left Egypt and were wandering in the wilderness, God gave the 10 commandments to help the people live well with God and with each other. When Moses came down the mountain with the commandments, he returned to find chaos among the people and most of the commandments already broken. He was so angry he threw down the tablets and they broke. The story goes that after a period of time, God was prepared to renew the covenant and so Moses went back up Mount Sinai and God remade the tablets. When Moses returned from talking with God his face shone and everyone was afraid him and so he had to cover his face.

Paul is writing about this story from scripture which his readers will already know and be familiar with. The exodus story suggests the reason for the veil is because Moses was glowing and the people were afraid. What Paul suggests here is the covenant that God made with the people in the exodus story was fading and along with it the glow that showed in Moses. The people didn’t want to know that the covenant was fading and so Moses covered his face to keep the knowledge from them.[1] The need for a second set of commandments so soon after the first bears out Paul’s assertion.

This original covenant was based on law and on the idea that there are particular rules to follow. And rules are helpful in giving structure to a culture and setting expectations for behavior. But Paul writes in Galatians that “the problem with the law is that it cannot provide life. The law serves to point out sin” (Carla Works) but it doesn’t have the ability to transform sin into something positive. And that’s where the gospel comes in.

Carla Works writes that in order “for Paul’s argument to make sense, one must imagine the argument backwards. With Christ, Paul sees God’s glory as he has never seen it before.” As a Jew, Paul would have known the law, known the stories and lore of its history, and understood its role in the life of individuals and community. Works goes on to suggest that the law is like a flashlight but Jesus is like the sun. They are both light and they both point to God.

For Paul the law is valuable but not as valuable as what Christ has to offer. The law allows us to live correctly but it doesn’t necessarily allow us to live abundantly. Paul’s letter is trying to help the people understand the distinction.

Paul suggests that the gospel is hidden and isn’t clear to the Jewish people who have lived with the law all their lives. Paul sees the gospel, not as something that replaces the law but, as something that continues it and makes it richer. The law by itself cannot give life but when it is enhanced by the message of Jesus it provides a richness of opportunities for new life.

Paul is always clear—as was Jesus—that the gospel is not about the messenger. The messenger always points to God. Jesus didn’t preach about himself. He taught about God and God’s message. Paul is continuing that message by pointing to Jesus who points to God. And we continue the message by pointing to Jesus who points towards God.

Paul describes humans as clay jars—something very ordinary, very practical and yet very fragile in the ancient world. It was also apparently common for people to hoard coins in clay jars and there have been many archeological discoveries of clay jars with coins. (Mark Wilson). Humans store their treasure in clay jars. God’s stores treasure in humans. The amazing things that we can do and accomplish as people of faith are not from us, the ordinary clay jars but from the treasure of God working in us. One of the passages that I have been carrying around in my head over the last few months comes from Ephesians 3: “My power and my spirit working in you can do more than you can ask or imagine.”

If we rely only on ourselves, our skills, what we think we are capable of, the results reflect our limited imagination. If we tie ourselves to the letter of the law we become limited to a rule based code of behavior which doesn’t necessarily bring life. Throughout his ministry, Jesus challenged many of the Jewish laws that had become entrenched in a way that harmed people. We see Jesus healing on a Sabbath and challenging the sacrificial system of the temple. We also have been handed rules—whether they come from the 10 commandments, or perceived cultural norms. We need to ask ourselves the intent of a particular rule.

Our image of marriage as heterosexual came from the Hebrew scriptures where women were considered property to be passed from one man to another. It was important to have many children for survival and love didn’t enter the equation. The intent of the Hebrew laws about marriage were to regulate the sale of property and to ensure the continuation of the Jewish people. We live in a different context. Women are no longer considered the property of men and survival is no longer at stake. Many of us are disturbed when we hear stories about arranged marriages because it is grounded in the idea of women as property. We recognize that the original intent of the law no longer applies.

Now we find ourselves in a place where love and marriage are deeply intertwined. Even within the early church there was a recognition that the original intent of marriage had changed and we know from historians that same sex marriages have been celebrated throughout the history of the church.

The gospel that Jesus proclaims and that we continue to proclaim is a gospel of love. It is a gospel that welcomes all of us. It is gospel that breaks down the walls that separate people. The legalization of same sex marriage continues to point towards this God that welcomes and loves all of us.

The passage that we heard speaks of a god of the world that “blinds the unbelievers.” We might think of the god of the world as greed, wealth that is hoarded or power that is abused. Sometimes the laws and rules blind us to the gospel. The gospel is love. The gospel of love is more powerful than hate.  It is more powerful than money and more powerful than abusive power. When we strive to keep people living by ‘our’ rules, we are living only by law and not by the gospel of love.

The gospel of love intentionally draws us into the path of Jesus. The path of Jesus leads us to welcome, to open our hearts and our minds. The path of Jesus also leads us to places of discomfort and death. The passage that we hard this morning closes by reminding us that “we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake.” We are given to death for the sake of the gospel. Sometimes following the gospel is scary because it upsets the law. Sometimes following the gospel is scary because it might put us in the way of physical or emotional harm.

Paul is quite clear that the potential for death is part of the risk of the gospel and of being faithful to it. We are people of the death and resurrection. We do not reach new life without having death in our lives. The death of rules that harm brings new life to individuals and communities. The death of hatred and violence brings love and peace.

In all our interactions with others, we need to be mindful of the intent of the rules and ask ourselves whether the rule harms someone or brings life. If we allow rules to overpower love then we have missed the point of the gospel and we need to relearn the meaning of love in our own lives.

[1]. Bruce J. Malina. Social-Science Commentary on the Letters of Paul. Kindle location 2346-2348

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Healing the Demons

We’ve seen Jesus call the disciples and heal the unclean spirit in the synagogue. In this part of the story Jesus goes to the home of Simon whose mother-in-law is very ill.

Here we see Jesus take her by the hand and lift her up. She is healed and able to get up and serve. Then the neighbourhood gets wind of what Jesus is up to and all sorts of people start showing up.

There are a whole bunch of things in this passage to unpack a bit. Last week Jesus dealt with an unclean spirit. This week he’s dealing with demons. There is a distinction here between unclean spirit and a demon or evil spirit.

You might think of an unclean spirit as human spirit that is damaged in some way. To a certain extent we all have unclean spirits in that we do things that harm ourselves, or others or the creation. We all make mistakes and most of us have things in our lives that hold us back, that we regret or wish were different. This is the unclean spirit.

In the ancient world demons were believed to be responsible for anything inexplicable. If you’re on the ground and there’s no wind but the tree above you is rustling that is the work of a demon. Demons were believed to cause illness and suffering. Some demons were benign, others were harmful. We are told that Jesus would not allow the demon to speak. This is because it was believed that their power lay in being able to name someone. If the demon couldn’t speak, it couldn’t have power over a person.

There is also an important distinction between curing and healing. Curing relates to removing the physical symptoms of disease. Healing has more to do with finding meaning, having emotional and spiritual wholeness in the midst of disease and being restored to the community. Many of us have heard stories about inexplicable curing of disease—perhaps someone is close to death and they recover or they have a cancer that suddenly disappears. There are curings that cannot be explained.

Healing can happen when someone chooses to live well with a chronic illness or even to die well. Healing can happen even in the midst of death. Sometimes families that are estranged are brought together in caring for a loved one as they die. Healing impacts not only individuals but families and communities.

In this passage, Jesus didn’t do anything except take the hand of Simon’s mother-in-law. His presence was enough to heal. We might hear the story and think that this is what makes Jesus so amazing and out of our league. These types of stories are what in our culture give Jesus a God-like quality but, as I said last week, in the ancient world people expected miracles and they expected that magic type healings were normal. Mark’s gospel tries to portray Jesus as a very ordinary human and Jesus offers healing in a way that all of able to provide. Ched Myers writes that “[Jesus] provides social meaning for the life problems resulting from the sickness.”[1] With this definition healing lies in helping people to reconnect with themselves and their community regardless of the symptoms of the illness.

In this sense, we don’t need special powers for healing. All of us have the ability to reach out and touch another person. When I was working with people with disabilities, we were encouraged to touch our clients because many of them would only receive touch as part of personal care. Touch of for the sake of touch was healing for many. It helped for many of them to understand that even with whatever disability they were still loved and still of value. The people with disabilities didn’t need healing but the way in which many were accepted and treated needed healing. The healing is in how people are treated.

All of us have the ability to be a presence to someone who is struggling. Illness can be isolating. As people’s physical, emotional and spiritual conditions deteriorate isolation often occurs. Sometimes it is because the individual doesn’t have the energy or ability to go out. Sometimes other people withdraw because they are uncomfortable and don’t know how to talk about illness and death or because the individual’s condition makes them uncomfortable. Sometimes there is nothing to do but sit and touch someone. That presence and touch can be healing.

Illness also prevents people either temporarily or permanently from working. In the ancient world, and in many parts of our own world, an illness means poverty and maybe death for not just the individual but for entire families. In Jesus’ time someone who was unable to work because of illness would have almost immediately become immersed in poverty. There was no medicare to cover the cost of treatments. There was no insurance to help ease people through difficult times. The connection between poverty and illness was and is an intimate one. We can see in our context that many people choose between paying rent, buying groceries, buying medications.

Previously, we heard the story of Jesus calling the first disciples. Then we had Jesus healing unclean spirits that cling to power and privilege. Then we have Jesus healing a woman so she can return to her work and be restored to her role in the community. If we identify ourselves as followers of Jesus then this is the work that is ours too. Later in Mark we find the story of the rich man wanting to know how to receive eternal life. In this story Jesus closes the conversation by telling him that “the first will be last, and the last will be first.” Already in Mark we see this happening and it is directly related to the healing work that Jesus is doing. The rich and powerful will be able to recognize that their values may not be in line with God’s expectations. Those who live in poverty and on the fringes will be restored to places where they are a meaningful part of the community and valued for their contributions.

We look around the world and see violence and destruction around the world and in our own communities. We wonder how these things can come to be. We wonder what causes someone to hate enough to violently behead or burn someone alive. In many ways these things are inexplicable. I don’t how someone comes to a point in their life where that kind of behavior is acceptable. It’s inexplicable to me just like the demons in the ancient world were inexplicable. There is no way of understanding why one person gets sick and someone else doesn’t.

For me, violence and hatred and fear are inexplicable. They are demons. I’m not suggesting that there is evil lurking behind every tree waiting to jump out and capture us. I’m not even thinking of actual entities but the demons exist in our minds, in our attitudes and behavior. Sometimes these demons are grounded in real life situations and experiences that give rise to the feelings. Sometimes they are taught or learned but either way they are powerful and have the ability to make us very ill in body, mind and soul.

In the scripture, Jesus did not allow the demons to speak so that they would not be able to control him. He could speak and was able to control the demons. In our world that is so filled with violence, fear and hate if we can find ways of preventing these demons from speaking they will not be able to control us. If we find our own voices of love, compassion and hope which offer something different from the voice of the demons we may be able to create space for healing to happen.

When we hear and experience hatred we need to respond with love. When we experience fear we need to offer comfort and hope. We witness violence we need to live peace. These practices silence the demons that are destroying the world and create healing.

The passage has one more practice to offer us that strengthens us for the journey of discipleship. That is the relationship between being and doing. Sometimes as church people we want only to worship God. We want the beautiful music, the scripture, the prayer that will comfort and strengthen us. Sometimes we get busy doing things and trying to save the world and forget to allow the spirit to nourish us. In this passage, we see Jesus working hard and then we see him take a break. This cycle occurs many times throughout the gospels. We need both. Our faith is personal in that is strengthens and nurtures us but our work calls us out into the world to heal lives.

[1].  Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Maryknoll:Orbis Books, 1988), 145.

Healing our Unclean Spirits

http://www.highertruthhealing.com/2013/02/what-is-spiritual-healing/

from: http://www.highertruthhealing.com/2013/02/ what-is-spiritual-healing/

In the previous post Jesus called the first disciples. This is the very next part of the story in Mark’s gospel.

Jesus and the disciples come to Capernaum and Jesus goes into the Synagogue on the next Sabbath day. And here he is teaching. Jesus would have been drawing his teachings from the Hebrew Scriptures, what we sometimes refer to as the Old Testament. The scribes also taught from the Hebrew Scriptures but in listening to Jesus the people sensed his authority and that he was teaching them something they weren’t learning from the scribes.

And into this teaching session comes someone with an unclean spirit. Mary Harris Todd describes “an unclean spirit [as] a disruptive spirit, a negative force or power that resists the will and way of God and oppresses people.  Unclean spirits hold people captive, hold them down, preventing them from being healthy and whole as God intends.” This is distinct from a demon or evil spirit. The person who enters the room not possessed by an evil spirit per say but is caught in something that makes their spirit unclean or unhealthy.

So there is some tension between Jesus and this person with an unclean spirit. If Jesus has been teaching from the Hebrew Scriptures, there is a good chance he was following in the footsteps of the prophets which emphasize God’s concern for the people who are marginalized in some way – the poor, the orphans and widows, the immigrants and foreigners. This person who is confronting Jesus would have been part of the religious establishment. The religious leaders at the time of Jesus were known for being caught in the ritual and word of the scripture and paying less attention to the spirit of the scripture. There was also a certain amount of collusion with the Roman Empire. If Jesus was being true to the message of the prophets from the Hebrew Scriptures his teaching were a direct threat to the scribes, the Pharisees and other religious establishment. They had a lot to lose from Jesus re-orienting the faith back to the message from the prophets.

The unclean spirit recognizes Jesus and the truth of the message but doesn’t want the message known because it would destroy their place, their power and privilege. And then Jesus orders the unclean spirit to come out which results in convulsions and crying. I’ve had experiences in my own life when I can hear God speak to me but I don’t want to listen. And I have argued with God and cried and tried to have my own way but eventually, I have to give in.

I imagine this person hearing Jesus’ message and trying to hang on to their power and privilege but the message is so persuasive they have no choice but to give in—but not without a struggle.

Ched Myers suggests that one of the challenges of reading exorcism and healing stories is that we imagine them as supernatural events. To the people participating and witnessing them they would have been a normal part of life. He also suggests that Mark’s gospel goes to great lengths to remind us that these are not magical events but grounded in the political realities of the time.[1] He goes on to write that Jesus’ acts are “powerful not because they challenged the laws of nature, but because they challenged the very structures of social existence.”[2] The power here is not that Jesus cast out a demon but that someone powerful was changed by an encounter with him.

The first disciples jumped up and followed Jesus without have a clear understanding of what they were being called to or what Jesus’ mission was all about. This part of the story begins to make that clear.

The first public act in Jesus’s ministry is healing the unclean spirit. This is the spirit which is a powerful, negative force in people’s lives. This is the spirit that holds people captive and prevents health and wholeness. This unclean spirit is threatened by Jesus’ return to the teachings from the Hebrew Scriptures. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures there is a strong emphasis on doing justice and having compassion. The prophets were constantly reminding both the leaders and the people to refocus on justice and compassion. Jesus follows in those footsteps and by doing so threatens the very existence of the unclean spirit.

We sometimes think it is others who are in need of healing of unclean spirits but often it is ourselves that most in need healing. We need healing of our own unclean spirits for all the ways in which we perpetrate racism or homophobia or get caught in our own greed. Many of us benefit in some way from maintaining these structures—just like the scribe benefits from maintaining the religious structure.

Healing our own spirits of racism and homophobia and other forms of fear and hate not only brings healing to our own spirit but it heals the community of which we are apart. As long as we don’t allow the healing to touch us, the community will be torn apart and broken. In Mark’s gospel, following Jesus requires us to heal unclean spirits. We need to always be healing our own spirit and we need to be encouraging those around us to heal their spirits. In the healing of spirits from all forms of hatred, violence and greed we heal community and build healthy relationships. Healing unclean spirits leads us deeper into the work of justice and compassion.

In the movie Chocolat the mayor puts his energy into trying to control his own behavior and that of the townspeople. He works hard at being faithfully observant of Lent and of excluding people who are different or that threaten the status quo of the community. There’s a scene where he goes to the chocolate shop with the intent of destroying a woman’s business and driving her out of town but instead ends up gorging on chocolate and then crying he recognizes his own broken spirit. The local priest sums it up in his sermon by reminding the people that Jesus was about embracing life and embracing people. The community is changed by these events and relationships are restored.

As the mayor reminds us, the healing can be painful and we often resist it. We hang on to what we know, what is comfortable, what we’ve been taught—just like the scribe with the unclean spirit. Allowing ourselves to be more open to God and to the spirit creates space for the healing to be at work.

Being diligent about the practice of centering prayer and other spiritual practices can create space so that the spirit can touch and heal your spirit.

[1].  Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Maryknoll:Orbis Books, 1988), 146.

[2]. Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Maryknoll:Orbis Books, 1988), 148.

Take Up Your Cross

We are continuing to look at the stories of Jesus found in Mark. Jesus is trying to figure out his role by asking the disciples. “Who do you say that I am?” We read this and “assume Jesus knows who he is and is testing the disciples to learn whether they know. If we read the questions as Middle Easterners, we will assume Jesus does not know who he is and is trying to find out from significant others.”[1] Peter responds by telling Jesus that he is the Messiah.

Once the disciples identify Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus claims that role. In the ancient world people were given a particular status at birth based on their parent’s status and that status did not tend to change over time. It was not anticipated that if you worked hard you could become more important. If you were poor you would always be poor. The culture assumed a limited amount of resources and goods, including honour.[2] So the disciples, in their claim that he is the messiah, have raised Jesus above his birth honour.

Jesus claims that role and begins to talk about what he sees as the direct consequence of his claiming that role. Jesus knows that if he steps into the role of messiah as described by the Hebrew prophets that it will lead to suffering and death for him and those around him. While the disciples identified Jesus as the messiah, they knew that Jesus’ publicly claiming that role would lead to the suffering he described. So Peter tries to get Jesus to back away from the role or at least be a bit more quiet about it. Peter tries to keep Jesus in his place. Jesus turns to Peter and said “Get behind me, Satan.” We often imagine Satan as a devil figure but this image might be more helpfully translated as tester.[3] Jesus identifies Peter as testing him and his willingness to follow God’s path. In this sense, anyone who directs our own attention away from God or discourages us from following our calling might be identified as a tester.

I have a strong sense of call to work for peace. Even as a child it didn’t make sense to me that we try to end wars by fighting wars. I’m not sure how or where this belief came from but it is something I have carried with me since elementary school. When I was doing my training for ministry, we had a guest speaker at one of our learning circles who had been with the Christian Peacemakers in Iraq. She talked about her experiences of putting herself in harm’s way in order to protect others. She talked about the risk of arrest or death and the ways in which her work transformative for people living with violence.

When it came time for me to choose a global exposure trip in the final year of ministry training I chose to travel with Christian Peacemakers. I wanted to better understand, in practical terms, what the work of non-violence looks like in places where violence and the threat of violence is an everyday occurrence. I travelled to Israel and Palestine to learn about that particular conflict and the ways in which non-violence is helping to create a new way of life. Roland worried the whole time I was away. Other people asked me, “Why would you go somewhere like that?” “Are you taking a gun?” “Do they give you bullet proof vests?” Others said, “but it’s so dangerous.” I see these as the testing questions. “Why?” “Are you sure? You realize what you are doing will be dangerous.” I knew that what I was doing would be risky. Intellectually, I knew the potential harm to myself and it still felt important to place myself in that situation.

The type of work that Christian Peacemakers does goes against our culture’s response to violence. We tend to respond to violence with violence. It can sometimes be a challenge to speak for non-violence in a culture where military response is considered the norm. But Jesus didn’t respond to violence with violence. He responded to violence in ways that transformed situations. Jesus can see the writing on the wall even this early in his ministry. He knows that challenging violence and structural oppression is going to lead to suffering and death for him and the people around him. He hears Peter question him and responds by explaining to the disciples that doing the right thing is not always the easy thing.

We hear this passage and have a tendency to spiritualize it. We all have crosses to bear. We all have things in our lives that are difficult. If we bear these things for Jesus’ sake God will reward us. This passage is often interpreted through this spiritual lens but that is probably not the original intent of the writers. We read this passage from a very individualist culture. We look after ourselves and our family but beyond that we have little responsibility for the welfare of the culture or society. The ancient world was a communal culture. Everything that one person did reflected on their family and community. If one person in the community was shamed, the entire community was shamed. If one person was honoured, the entire community was honoured.

In the Roman empire the cross was the method of execution for dissidents.[4] It did not represent a spiritual quest. It was not a symbol of anything holy. The cross represented the death of anyone who spoke against the empire and it was common practice for prisoners to carry the cross they were to be executed on to the place of execution. All four gospels tell of Jesus carrying his cross. When Jesus tells the disciples to take up their cross it “could have no meaning except as an invitation to share the consequences facing those who dared challenge…imperial Rome…Mark’s first readers could in no way have missed the terrible implications of such a saying.”[5]

Susyia Village (2)

Susyia Village, Palestine CPT November 2008

Mark continues to ground this gospel in the political realities of the Roman Empire. The gospel only has meaning for us if we can connect it to our own political realities. When I was with Christian Peacemakers we visited the Palestinian village of Susyia and watched as a farmer planted his crop in the valley.

Susyia Settlement (2)

Illegal Susyia Settlement – Occupied Territory, Palestine CPT November 2008

Across the valley is an illegal Israeli settlement. And in this illegal settlement are homes finished with wood imported from Europe, filled with books and pianos. Susyia village is made up of tents because the village has been bulldozed by the Israeli occupying forces. Settler attacks on farmers while they are planting and harvesting is common. As we stood and watched the farmer we talked about what we would do if the settlers came to attack the farmer. Some of us would take pictures. Some of us would go into the valley and stand between the farmer and the settlers. Someone would phone others to come and help. Some of us would observe and make notes so we could be documented for later court cases and police reports and shared online. We knew that the situation had potential for violence and that we could be hurt. It was scary to know that I was in a situation that could potentially escalate and commonly does result in violence.

Returning to my own everyday reality there are so many things that bother me about our culture and the ways in which we treat one another. I hear racism in our own community and within our faith community on a regular basis. Homophobia is alive and well in our congregation and community. Jesus work for justice led him straight to the cross. Jesus carried the cross for others and found himself carrying his own cross. Challenging racism and homophobia and other injustices in our own context may lead to our own crosses.

Crosses that continue to be carried and lead to death.
Crosses that continue to be carried and lead to death.

Sometimes I challenge these things but sometimes it can feel risky. When I feel like I’m outnumbered I’m more likely to remain silent or see if someone else speaks up. When I know that people are entrenched in a particular view I want to respond with anger and frustration and sometimes remain silent to avoid creating a confrontation which might actually make the situation worse. Sometimes I remain silent because I want to be liked and I don’t want to harm a particular relationship. I don’t always want to carry these crosses.

And Jesus reminds us in this passage that if we are going to be his followers we need to take the risk. He is quite literal in his approach. “If you are going to follow me, you have to be willing to risk crucifixion.” In our context, crucifixion is highly unlikely and yet being comfortable is something that often tempts us. Remember Satan from earlier in the passage—the one who tempts us away from God? Our comfortable lives, our pleasant social interactions—these can be tempters for us.

Lent is a time of the church year that intentionally invites us into reflection on how we follow Jesus. In the early church it was a time when new converts would spend 40 days learning, praying and deciding whether or not they wanted to take the risk of following Jesus. They knew that following Jesus would require something of them. It would require them to be willing to give up their lives. Lent continues to be a time for us to intentionally reflect on what kind of followers we want to be. It is a time when we can open ourselves to God’s spirit and change direction in our lives. Lent invites us to reflect on what kind of church we want to be. Are we a church that is simply a comfortable place for our members or are we a place that faithfully risks following Jesus?

There are many different spiritual practices which allow us to listen for God and strengthen us for faithful following. These include centering prayer and guided meditation, labyrinths, mandalas and many more.

We cannot follow Jesus without being grounded, nurtured and strengthened in the spirit. Lent is a good time to incorporate some of these practices into our lives and listen carefully for how Jesus is calling us to follow his path of the cross.

[1]. Bruce Malina;Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (Kindle Locations 3869-3870). Kindle Edition.

[2].  Bruce Malina;Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (Kindle Locations 3880-3882). Kindle Edition.

[3].  Bruce Malina;Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (Kindle Location 3883). Kindle Edition.

[4]. Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2006), 245.

[5]. Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2006), 246.