Happy & Holy

Chapters 3-4 | Gospel of Mark

June 07, 2021 Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach Season 4 Episode 3
Happy & Holy
Chapters 3-4 | Gospel of Mark
Show Notes Transcript

On Today’s show, I’m joined by Morgan Strehlow and Amanda Webb for a walk through Mark 3-4. We talk about Jesus’ redefining of family, people calling Jesus bad names, mustard seeds, and more parables.

If you find yourself in the messy middle as a Christian, you’re not alone, and I’d love to help. I’ve created the Untidy Faith newsletter just for you. Together, we'll navigate the many tensions of the Christian life and in the process find ourselves wandering closer to the Way of Jesus. When you sign up, you'll get a printable version of the Messy Middle Christian manifesto to your inbox today and first access to more Untidy Faith resources as they come out. You can sign up today at kateboyd.co/newsletter

Morgan Strehlow is a writer, project manager and host of the Sanctuary Woman, a contemplative podcast for women. She wears a lot of different hats, but in everything she does she seeks to participate in the restoration of peace on Earth in our communities, in our businesses, in our churches, and in our families. You can connect with her on Instagram @morganstrehlow or on Twitter @morganstrehlow.

Amanda Webb lives in Carrollton, TX with her husband and dog Callie. She runs her own small business, and she enjoys spending time with her niece and dreaming about her next vacation. 

If you enjoyed our discussion, I’d love if you would rate + review on your favorite podcast player. This helps more people to find the show and learn with us. 


Then come on over to social media and let’s talk about it! You can find me on Instagram @kateboyd.co and on Twitter @thekateboyd



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Kate Boyd:

You're listening to happy and holy the podcast where scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season as we walk through the rough and tumble Gospel of Mark, you get to be a fly on the wall and see what new things we learn with and from one another as we engage scripture in community. I'm your host, Kate Boyd. I'm a disciple maker, writer and speaker who's making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle between conservative and progressive, who love Jesus, love people, and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show. If you find yourself in the messy middle as a Christian, you are not alone. And I'd love to help. I created the untidy faith newsletter just for you. together every month, we'll navigate the many tensions of the Christian life. And in the process, find yourselves wandering closer to the way of Jesus. When you sign up, you'll get a printable version of the messy middle Christian manifesto sent to your inbox today. And you will also get first access to more untidy faith resources as they come out. You can sign up now at Kate boyd.co slash newsletter. On today's show, I'm joined by Morgan strehlow. And Amanda Webb for a walk through Mark chapters three and four. We talk about Jesus's or redefining a family, people calling Jesus bad names, mustard seeds, and more parables. Ready?

Unknown:

Let's go.

Kate Boyd:

Well, we are here today and we're talking about Mark chapters three and four. But before we dive into that, let me have my guests today introduce themselves. Amanda, why don't you tell us a little about yourself?

Amanda Webb:

Hi, everyone. I'm Amanda Webb. And I actually don't run like a podcast or anything with the Bible in mind. I do own my own small business. But I am lucky enough to be really good friends with Kate in person. We've been friends for, oh goodness, probably 10 or 11 years now through college. And we do Bible studies together on Thursday nights. And when she was saying that she wanted to do this, I was like, You know what, that would be fun to get to meet some of her online friends. I hear her talk about everyone. So I'm so excited to get to meet Morgan. I've heard Katie talk about Morgan quite a bit. And you'll have to excuse me, I call her Katie

Unknown:

Thompson.

Kate Boyd:

I have like one identity crisis, often when my worlds collide, so it's just a normal, just a normal Saturday for me.

Amanda Webb:

Absolutely. But so Katie's husband was really good friends with my college boyfriend. So I kind of got to know him. And we just kind of grown into our own little four pack now. And we're the childless millennials who love just hanging out and playing games and getting to be for parents. Yep, that's this.

Kate Boyd:

Morgan, why don't you introduce yourself?

Morgan Strehlow:

Hi, I'm Morgan street low and I live in Waco, Texas, where I work at Baylor School of Social Work as a program manager. And that's where my husband is finishing up his PhD. And we have a three year old sending stuff. And I host a podcast called sanctuary woman. And it's more of a contemplative spiritual space that is really designed to connect with the weary and wounded Christians are those on the edge of their faith. And, yeah, I met Kate through a writing community called hope writers that were both a part of and we both share a lot of similar passions, and we have a heart for similar people. So and we're both enneagram fives, shout out to the fives. That's right.

Kate Boyd:

I was telling someone I was like, you know, people keep saying fives are rare, but somehow they keep like, I don't know if I just attract them because they keep ending up like in my DNS and then all the I just end up connecting with them in a lot of different ways. So it's really funny to me. How many who by friends I have. Yeah,

Amanda Webb:

I look to with the Wink three

Morgan Strehlow:

views. So I made to to my best friends or twos. I yeah.

Amanda Webb:

Yeah. Maybe that's why you and I work so well together because you're the five and I'm the two

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, maybe Who knows? Um, okay. So I'm really excited to talk about chapters three and four in Mark today. And I think let's start off because, and we're going to recap because we're not going to read the whole chapters for you guys. So I'm gonna have Morgan, if you'll recap chapter three for us, and then we'll dive into talking about it.

Morgan Strehlow:

Good. So in Mark chapter three, that mark really continues from chapter, it's a continuation from chapter view, where you see, Jesus is embarking on his ministry, and it involves a lot of healing and miracles and healing encounters between Jesus and, and the people. And so, and chapter three, you're seeing how people are responding to 50 this as ministry and his healing, and that includes a lot of criticism from the religious, and particularly because Jesus is healing on the Sabbath. And so they confront him, and he heals on the Sabbath right in front of them. And then he just continues on with his ministry and and grows it by appointing his 12 disciples, and continuing to draw crowds of people who are travelling friends, cities and towns far away to come share him. And so there's certainly some themes of Jesus like maxing out demons and evil, but it doesn't go into a lot of detail. That's where I can comfortably talk about the the casting out of demonic activity. But that's certainly a bit of a theme in this chapter.

Unknown:

Um,

Morgan Strehlow:

and yeah, it's another theme of chapter three is both like his friends and his family. As Jesus becomes like, his ministry and his like, the attention he's drying is becoming broader and more prominent and more radical, and more uncomfortable to them. They are always like, trying to, like, tone them down, or I think of, like, someone's handler or publicist or manager, like if you have a celebrity, and they're, you know, they're drawing all these people. And it's like, okay, we gotta go, like, we can't this, you know, people are gonna, the media is going to get a hold of this. And we don't, we don't want to be on the front page. So let's keep moving.

Unknown:

There's a box.

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah, so that's kind of a theme here to you. And so the chapter ends with his, his mother and his family coming and finding him, Well, he's surrounded by a crowd. And, you know, he responds, you know, who are my mother and my brothers and looks around, and at the crowd surrounding him here, my mother's and my brothers, whoever does the will of God is my mother and my sister, and my brother. And so that's really how it is that he's kind of introducing this kingdom, and then inviting everyone to be a part of it as like, hey, you're part of my family.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Yeah. So in Mark, and I think we really start to see it here. There's really like, this idea of insiders and outsiders. And it's like the ones who would normally be considered insiders are the ones that are on the outside, and Jesus has all the outsiders inside. And then even expand, like expands that so much, and that keeps developing. But I think we really see it in a lot of ways, at least in chapter three. And then as he expands our definition of Kingdom, we'll move to chapter four and a little bit but,

Unknown:

um, okay,

Kate Boyd:

so let's start with the man with the withered hand. So that's where chapter three kicks off. And he heals a man. And they're not even mad that he healed. They're healed the guy they're more mad that he healed him on the Sabbath. Which is interesting. What did you guys think of this story?

Amanda Webb:

I really loved how, in this story alone, we see that there's not always a black and white situation. So when I was reading, I got online, and I kind of did a little bit more research to make sure I was understanding everything, right. And what I read someone had posted, like, what's great about this story is we learn that if if a human's need is critical, it's okay to violate the Sabbath law. So, growing up, I went to, you know, Southern Baptists independent Baptist Church, and you just did your work did not work on Sundays, you were at church in the Pew Sunday morning. And then, you know, right back there Sunday afternoon. But I remember as I was getting older, my dad was in the golf industry. And there were times that he had to work on Sunday. And he was doing it to take care of his family. It's not like he went out and purposely was looking for this job to not be at church. And I think that shows that, well, yeah, we need to be at church, we need to be a part of that community at there's not always a black and white. And you sometimes would hear people say, he needs to find a new job if he's, if it's taken him away from this situation. But right here, it shows it's not always black and white. And if your need is greater, it's okay to take care of those around you, even if it's on a day that's supposed to be dedicated to this one situation.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And I think that's the other thing, too, is like, Sabbath is here, but and a thing that we should do. But it doesn't have to be done in the way that it's traditionally been done either. Right? Like he could have Sabbath on a Monday, if that's like, a thing that was better with his schedule. Because I think a Sabbath, maybe it's just me, but I think of Sabbath and more individual terms than in communal terms. And I don't know if that's right or wrong, because it feels like it was also very communal, it and probably, I should say feels like it's so it's communal, for Jewish communities. And so maybe that's something I need to think about too. But one thing that stood out, Morgan, I know, you said you wrestled a little bit with the story.

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah, so at first, when I was reading it, it really reminded me of the common phrase we hear these days. When we say, like the spirit of the law, or the role of the law. And this is like a classic situation of where, you know, you have the religious who are just like dead set on, like, the rule of the law. And, and here, Jesus says, you know, is it? Is it illegal to do good? Like is it and, and Jesus's and what would be seen as a rebellious Alex, that is a holy, righteous act, as is Jesus, using the withered hand of the man who is criticizing Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, and Jesus. And what? The first reading, in my mind, I was like, it's kind of petty but but it's also consistent with, like, the compassionate heart of Jesus that we see across the Gospels of like love your enemy, love, they love the one who is criticizing you. And that's what he does here. And so even though what looks on the surface might be just like, a petty act is really when and compassion and is showing his power. Like along with his action, and in this passage, particularly what really jumped out at me is that, that Jesus was angry. And so I read three different translations and we have an IV, he looked around at them in anger, and deeply distressed at their stubborn heart. And then you have in the whatever translation This is the New Revised Standard Version, the I don't have an underlined mind says, he looked at them with anger, and he was grieved with their hardness of heart. And then he looked them in the eye, one after another angry now furious that they're hard nosed Religion that's what the message said. And as someone who lives in America in 2021 I can definitely relate to like looking at the the more fundamentalist, legalistic, religious, Christian, and feeling angry, and it's really hard to for me, you feel compassion? Because it's like, Look, you're, you're making us all look like Lisa like you're making you're like you're reflecting that, like our Christian faith and, and I know it's it's better than this and so that's what makes me angry and angry like I just love when Jesus was called angry because it reminds me like anger is not like an emotion or a sin. It's I mean, it's a neutral emotion. It's a human emotion that Jesus felt and he felt it. Like when he interacted with the Pharisees with the religious who were just holding up the rule of the law and holding them against it. So

Kate Boyd:

yeah, I think anytime we see Pharisees, it's good instead of like thinking Pharisees as a general rule bad to think like legalism, fun, fundamentalism bad. And, and we even see like their responses to immediately couple up with the government so that they can, mine says, I'm conspired with the Herodians against him how to destroy him, like, this was something that they were to, they immediately went to the people who had, you know, power to kill someone, and let that be all because because he healed someone. It's just so strange like that he did this good thing. But he didn't do it to the letter of the law, and they're mad about it.

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah, I think that, you know, when I talk about the legalistic, religious, you know, I don't even like just think of the super conservative, the fundamental Baptists are, you know, the, like, Hey, I also think you can certainly do it on the other side, you know, the super progressive candidates. I see this, I see this, like, no one is immune from the temptation to hold up the rule of the law against and, and try to put themselves above or have like this frown holier than now like, posture, and chord, someone who is trying to do good, just as Jesus was trying to do on the other end, so I definitely, like saw myself on both sides of this. As I was reading, I was like, I am definitely attempted to be the religious. But I also can put myself and Jesus issues and fill that anger with him. That's someone who has been accused of Yeah, being a bleeding heart and doing too much good.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah,

Amanda Webb:

that's so crazy to me. How do you do too much good,

Kate Boyd:

you know, like, well, are doing too much good. But with the wrong ideas, you know?

Amanda Webb:

Yeah. It's, It baffles me sometimes.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. So then we see Jesus departing with his disciples to the sea, which he does a lot. They're always going back and forth all over the place.

Amanda Webb:

So sign that kind of grout, yeah, go for hours and say something that kind of stood out going and kind of off what Morgan just said, you know, at the end of our chapter six, it says, you know, the Pharisees went out and, you know, conspired to destroy him. And as I was kind of going through and, you know, researching and studying some of this, it was said, a part of the reason Jesus was able to, to convey such big crowds as he was such a charismatic speaker. And so I could almost see where maybe some of those who are leaders could get a little fearful, not knowing his intentions. And I feel like here in America, we saw that in 2016, that kind of where it came, you know, in our political environment, um, and, and so it kind of I, while I agreed, like, I don't understand how someone can be seen as doing You know, too much good. I also am like I could have seen where their guard went up a little bit if he's not being looked at, or he hasn't enough people that know him yet to know what he's actually doing. And all they're really witnessing is the way he's talking and the way people are just faline. To him, I could see where there could be some confusion. And not really knowing his true intentions upon the first time meeting him. Yeah,

Kate Boyd:

I think there's a lot of some of his ideas are, are shaking things up a little bit. He is charismatic, but he's also like, and we even see like this Next, after verse six, there's the multitude at the seaside, like he's like, get the boat, because there's a big crowd, and they might crush me, for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. So I think it's beyond even speaker like he's actually, like, he's not just teaching, he's not just sharing with the kingdom. In fact, before he does that, most of the time, he actually heals people. First, he's with the people he's hanging out. And I think when someone has that kind of power coupled with that charisma, and you know that he's already rubbed up against you in some of those ways. And with some of his ideas, yeah, it's like, oh, he really might be shaking up things, and we don't like it. And to your point, like, especially if they haven't been hanging out with those people in those crowds, they've only sort of heard, you know, secondhand until they come and meet him in these ways. Which I think it's probably what happened first.

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah, and it wasn't just the Pharisees trying to control this charismatic. I mean, it was his family and friends, like, there's a sense of control that both you see at the beginning of chapter three, and at the end of chapter three, like they're trying, like, they don't know what he's gonna do next. Like, we've got to get this under control before he goes too far with this. And, and I think both of those things were both from his family's perspective and the religious. You know, that's a lot of times when you're wanting control of something that's motivated by fear. And so I think their fears are probably very different. But yeah, it's just like the sense of taking control of Jesus's power, because we believe its power we see as power, we believe it, but we don't know what he's gonna do with it. And how far you want to take it? Yes. That's

Amanda Webb:

a great, Gary. Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Well, and also, to be fair, some of his followers, right. Like, even as we get into, we're about to get into, you know, his selection of the 12. You know, some of them have some really revolutionary tendencies and ideas. And so, like I can, like, it could turn into something really wild, if, if it gets out of control, you know, and they just don't get it yet. But, and that's also what's interesting, like, given all of that, it sort of gives me a little bit of the, I feel like that gives me a little more insight into why Jesus may want all of this on the download, like, when people are like, You're the son of God, and he's like, No, no, stop saying that, like, yes, but no, um, because maybe that escalates more quickly than he needs it to, so that he can do what he needs to do, given that there's already so much resistance.

Amanda Webb:

It's kind of like he wanted to go out and do the right thing and take care of people and, and preach but didn't want wanted to. He wanted the actions to speak louder than his, I guess, quote, unquote, title, is the way I kind of see it. He just wanted to go out and do good and bring people, you know, introduce them to God, what and do it because he helped he taught in a way that they just believed and they didn't do it because of who he was.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I think that's part of it and just sort of, I think, not wearing that title or not proclaiming that gives him a little bit more freedom from prying eyes. Who would be hostile to it? Because he does own it eventually. But it I think this early, he's like, I just need to get out there and do my thing. And everybody's talking about this. That's going to catch attention a little too quickly for what I'm here to do. Alright, 12 disciples, So,

Unknown:

um, Amanda, you looked into this a little Yeah, it did.

Amanda Webb:

Um, so I think I love how to just to kind of start with kind of going back. So with you and I and our husbands, we're going through Exodus right now. And I loved how even here, Jesus is trying to go back to their roots of early Jerusalem. And so the reason he picked 12 apostles is to represent the 12 tribes 12 tribes of Israel. And when he went up on the mountain to call him up there, that was him, kind of evoking Moses experience up on Mount Sinai. And what I was really trying to go back and look into was, Why did he pick the people that he selected to be part of his followers. And from the research that I did, no one asked, there wasn't anything that came out and said, he chose, you know, James, and Simon and all these people, for x y&z reasons, everything that I learned was because he just wanted normal, everyday people. And so when they were going out teaching, those around, could relate to them a little bit better. And I know we'll kind of get into this more in chapter four. But the reason I kind of fell into wanting to look into this a little bit more is because of what happens, the story of them on the boat, you know, so when the wind and the storm comes, and they are terrified? Why knowing who he was, Why did what caused them to get so scared. So that's kind of what brought me all down, wanting to look into this a little bit more so that my extra research kind of crosses over between both chapters as to, you know, why he selected the apostles? And how he kind of met all of them? And did they do something that made them stand out? And that's why he wanted them to come and be part of this tribe with him? Or was, were these people kind of pre selected, you know, by God. And he was trying to set up certain meetings for them to find each other along the way. But it really, from what I'm understanding is he, throughout his teachings just met these people and felt some kind of connection to them. And he just really wanted some everyday people to be part of him and not go after the big religious leaders that most people probably would have thought he would want.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, he made some pretty controversial choices actually, bringing in some tax collectors and a zealot. Like, these are people that are either like too closely aligned with Rome, or like very against Rome. So even within the 12 disciples, you see this like need for them to be unified, even though they have very different approaches to how they deal with the world around them. And I think you're right, I love that you connected it back to Exodus, because there is a lot of like, the mountain imagery, the wilderness imagery that will come up later in Mark, there's a lot of nods to Moses and Exodus, and all of that here, too. And that these people, there was obviously then a group that was bigger than this, and these 12 were selected from outside of it. So it's not like his ministry was just 12 people there were there were more. Right, following his around him around. Yeah, they were just pretty plain. Like, they weren't famous. They weren't important. They just were mostly tradesmen hanging out, you know.

Unknown:

Um, okay, so then we've got Jesus.

Kate Boyd:

See, casting out of the crowd came together. So Jesus NBL ball. And people are like, hey, Jesus is casting out demons because he has a demon. And he's like, That doesn't even make sense.

Unknown:

Um,

Kate Boyd:

and then we get to the true Kindred of Jesus. So Morgan, you alluded to this earlier, where his mother and brothers come, and he's like, he's really sort of redefining family, which is interesting as he goes into all these parables about the kingdom.

Amanda Webb:

So kind of going back. What was it? Um, where's verse 21. His family heard and they went out to see some for they were saying he is out of his mind. And then when he kind of says, you know, who are my mother and my brothers down in verse 33? It kind of almost makes you think, knowing how Mary was conceived Jesus, Why is she so scared of him out teaching Like this? Like, that was the whole point of her giving birth to. So that kind of was something that stuck out to me as well that she would try to get him to kind of back down a little bit.

Kate Boyd:

I mean, I think she's still on his mom, you know, right. And she knows that this is raising some resistance. So she's probably a little

Unknown:

Morgan, your mom? What's your perspective?

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah, I certainly think that, and this is what I was alluding to. And when I said that the reason they were trying to control it was because of fear. But their fear was partly rooted in something different. So her fear was a mother's fear coming from a loving place of like, I like you're gonna have a target on your back, you're vulnerable to the powers, the earthly powers that be the government to try to shut you up, shut you down. And I think that I read this as when she and her her other children come looking for Jesus to try to get control of him. I think it comes from a place of fear. I, there was another the message version, instead of saying he's out of his mind. I love that. It says they suspected he was getting carried away with themselves. And so I, I don't know if Mary actually was thinking like, he's that sweet, something like, some of the non family was, but more like, he knows, like, you know, he has a target on his back. Why is he doing this? Why is he drawing attention to themselves? Because, you know, it's still very early in his ministry. And so they're having to adjust to all this attention. He's getting in and bringing with the miracles. And so I that's how I read this. And the particular concern that is,

Kate Boyd:

yeah, I like that message translation, because then it sort of makes it feel like they didn't think he was actually crazy. It was just sort of like, there's, there's a lot happening right now. And he just had this like desktop with some folks, and it's getting bad. And, you know, there's, like you said, there's a fear, that's not and then he's like, but actually, let's actually reframe the whole conversation, because it's not just about me and my family. There's a bigger family and being at work. Which brings us to chapter four. So Amanda, if you want to recap for us chapter four, before we

Amanda Webb:

chat about it. So in chapter four, we are hearing some of the parables. So the first part of the chapter starts with the parable of the sower, and how the sower goes out and to lay the seeds in the different areas that the seeds are laid, and then he kind of goes into breaking down the parable. The same thing with the lamp under the basket, you know, is why do you have a lamp? What's the purpose of it. And we also get to hear a little bit about the mustard seeds and how even the smallest seed can start growing into this massive home for other people. And, and then it goes into how Jesus calms the storm. The big takeaway that I started to see throughout this chapter was when Jesus is talking with his disciples, and he's teaching, he wants them any kind of pushes into their head. Anytime they're out teaching on his behalf, he wants them to talk in a parable format he, he wants, he doesn't want them to actually say this is what everything means. He wants people to kind of understand for themselves and get to have their own sort of takeaway, at least that's how I took it. But I do like that he breaks down what the parables are, and kind of their meaning behind them. So when the disciples are talking, they can kind of they know how to relay the message in a way that everyone can understand, but still allow them to kind of have their own thoughts and feelings on everything. But yeah, chapter four is a lot of parables and the break down parables more than anything and then learning you know that even though he's selected these 12 disciples at the end we see all of that still kind of question who he is when they get onto the boat. So I have a lot more points that I've written down what I thought it was probably just here's our overview and then discuss everything. Yeah,

Kate Boyd:

we'll definitely discuss and I think you're right what we're seeing again is this insiders outsiders thing, right. So he speaks the parable. And then he goes with this insect to everyone and then he goes with this insiders and explains it. So we're seeing again, this like different point of view, and even and even how, at the end, they're still not.

Unknown:

They don't totally get it. Right. Okay,

Kate Boyd:

so parables. Is there any particular one that you guys like felt drawn to talk about?

Amanda Webb:

The Parable of the Sower actually was reread everything before we this morning. You know, I read everything, took my notes. And then before we got the call, I was like, I definitely want to read through everything again, just make sure it's top of mind and I have over you know, I get on Tick Tock and I, you know, sit and scroll videos, you know what I need to kind of decompress. And I've kind of, I've ended up on deconstruction sloshed ex evangelical tik tok a few times, and it's not so much that, you know, these people are turning away from the church, it's so much they're turning away from kind of the toxic side of the church. So when I rewrite read the parable this morning, I realized how much the like, I don't want to say necessarily just the church that I grew up in, but kind of the experiences that so many of us had, growing up in the church, and, you know, the, the 90s and early 2000s, I saw kind of in the parable. So it says, you know, the sower says the word. So you know, the word, in my opinion, is the Bible, and then you have the ones that come along the past with where the word is sown, and when they hear Satan immediately, immediately comes and picks away the word that is sown in them. So those are kind of the I kind of viewed that as the occasional church go, or they may go with a friend, or they're looking for something, but they're not quite ready to accept it yet. Um, and so you saw kind of those occasional people that would pop into church, mostly visitors and never really saw them again. But you could kind of tell it, they were they were looking for something. But they didn't quite receive it in the way that they thought they were going to whether it was people just not being warm and welcoming when they came in, or just the devil being way too forefront of things in their life at that moment. And then the ones that are sewn on the ground, are the ones who when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. But because they have no root in themselves, they endure it for a while. And when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. So I kind of viewed that as those that are there every Sunday, or do everything that they're supposed to do. But yet when they're faced with something difficult, immediately, they they blame God for everything that's going wrong in their lives, and they walk away from the church altogether. And then the ones that are sown among thorns are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter and choke the word and prove unfruitful. So here's where it really hit me. With the way that we were kind of with the deconstruction of not being super evangelical anymore, is they put up a front and say, you know, this is what God is, this is what we're supposed to be doing. But they're kind of doing it more for show and they don't really walk in their faith. So they're there they were, so they know what they're supposed to do. But when it comes time to really act the way they're supposed to, they don't. And I guess the way I tried to put this into the right words. And I really, I really hope my sister doesn't get mad at me for saying this. So, for example, my sister got pregnant at 17 when we were in the church, gave birth at 18. And so it's of loving her and helping her through what really was a traumatic time because not because she got pregnant, but it was because who came out the father was like, it never should have happened. I mean, it was a 24 year old man, but in the state of Texas, that's age of consent, so nothing can be done. And instead of loving her and taking care of her and showing my family, so much compassion to help her through it, that we were all but shunned from the church, like you saw the cold shoulders come, and you saw people just whispering and saying, you know, my parents should have done a better job. And I mean, not everyone has issues with their parents here and there, but I overall had very good parents, they took care of us, we never went without. And then two years later, one of the preachers, kids get someone pregnant, and they run off and get married, and everything's okay. Because they ran off and did that. They were showing compassion. But yet, someone else wasn't. And that I really like, I never thought about it. And until I kind of fell on that side of seeing some of those situations and other people that they experienced the same thing. And then, you know, reading it right here, I really could see some aspects of the church are really the seeds among the thorns. Yeah,

Kate Boyd:

I mean, first of all, I'm so sorry, that was your experience. That's not how it should be. Yeah, I don't think that's what Jesus wants, either. I think what we see is sort of like what we've been talking about before the legalism, right? Or they're sort of like the there's often a disconnect between heads and like hands, right? Like, what we know, and what we what we then do with that. Or in this way, and this sort of metaphor, what we're seeing is like this rootedness, right, so you hear the word and it goes in, but unless it sprouts and has roots, and it's given the care that it needs to grow, and then more sort of, it's going to either, you know, get snatched away, or it's not even going to germinate, or it'll germinate and then die. And it can still like, look like a plant, but it's actually not very strong. And so you sort of see all of these, these ideas, and I think it can look a lot of different ways. But if you only have the rules and the words, and you don't have that deep abiding relationship with Jesus, or if that if you have an abiding relationship with Jesus, but there are things that are sort of, you're attached to in the world above that, whether that's, I mean, like that third group, you know, that's like your power, your money, your status. And if that is attached more than this, you know, you can end up out of whack and out of balance and not be the plant the rooted presence that you're meant to be. And so yeah, I mean, I think those are kind of the points he's making is like, this is what happens. And it's also kind of a warning, like, this is what can happen even in like, as we do the kingdom of God, as we're about doing the work, these are the things to look out for, and to be aware of. And I think even the rest of Mark, like he then demonstrates, like these different groups, so as you go past chapter four, which other people will hear, um, you know, you'll see him talking to different groups of people that sort of fit these categories and how they respond and how it ends up. And it's really, um, but yeah, I mean, if you read it, and you're not convicted in some way, it's, you know, it, it can be it can be rough, like Jesus says hard things. And he's like, sometimes it'll look like a good tree, but it's not a good tree.

Amanda Webb:

Yeah. And it's kind of, you know, the same thing with the lamp, you don't buy the lamp to, you know, hide it somewhere, you put it out, you know, for the light to shine. So, I feel like there are times that we can all have our lights shut, we should do a better job at shining our lights or be more willing to give some of our light to others when theirs is a little too dim.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, I think that's the purpose of a light, right? It's to actually bring light and not like what's the point of hiding and or something that's useless. Um, so the one parable that I looked into a little bit more was the mustard seed. Because I feel like later, I don't know if it's Jesus, or maybe it's a no, or Paul. I don't know, a mustard seed seems to be a big deal. Like people talk about it because it's so tiny. And so I was curious what it meant and when what it was about mustard seeds in particular. So the stuff that I found is that it is very tiny. It's one of it's like a really tiny seed, I feel like we've probably all seen mustard seed, if you've ever had brown mustard, you've seen a mustard seed. But it does like it can be a little plant, but it can also grow into like a big shrub, which is interesting. Um, it can get up to, it can get up to nine feet tall, from a very small seed if it's healthy.

Unknown:

And so some of the

Kate Boyd:

I looked up a few different interpretations of it. So one suggests that the growth of the kingdom from God from tiny beginnings to a worldwide size like something that can't be contained and then someone else use it as has three parts a picture a reality part and a comparison to the picture part is the mustard seed that grows into a large plant, the reality part is the kingdom of God. And the point of comparison is this is the growth of the kingdom from small beginnings. So again, this like tiny thing, that becomes a big thing. I'm nesting birds. So apparently, this isn't doesn't grow into like a tree that usually has branches. So this may be sort of like a way of Jesus saying that it's bigger than you could have imagined in reality, um, and so the nesting birds may refer to that so that birds could land in it, because that wouldn't normally happen. Birds may refer to Old Testament texts, which emphasize the universal reach of God's Empire. And so, they may just be saying, like, or people may be saying that this is him incorporating Gentiles into the kingdom.

Unknown:

Um,

Kate Boyd:

but also interestingly, Pliny the Elder, um, wrote that mustard is extremely beneficial for the health, it grows entirely wild, though it is improved by being transplanted from the other hand, when it has once been sown, it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it as a seed when it falls germinates at once. And that's another thing I looked at was like, it germinates within a few days, like a week of being planted. And so the idea that it's actually the small thing, and it then grows all over the place. And once it's there, it's really hard to root out. So it's an interesting idea of what the kingdom of God is like that it takes root easily, and grows really quick. And potentially, if it's nurtured and cultivated in the right way. But it's also hard to root out even if you try to get rid of it, you may not be able to any other parables that stood out to you, Morgan.

Morgan Strehlow:

What really stood out to me and how you ended up parable is a good segue. But specifically, what are the parables but how Jesus is explaining he the purpose and the format of his parables to His disciples, nine through 13, the message version, Jesus is speaking to his disciples and says, even given God's kingdom, you know how it works, but to those who can't see it, yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward receptive insight. These are people whose eyes are open, but don't see think yours are open, but don't understand a word, who avoid making about Ace and getting. He continued, do you see how this story works? All my stories work this way. And I think this is so interesting for someone who was myself criticize the seeker sensitive trend in churches that are seeker sensitive, that don't go super deep and teaching and teaching, particularly from the stage and as again at an intellectual height five who just loves knowledge and who wants to go deep and who wants to dig into you? The depth of Sure. Yeah, I've criticized the seekers that have stopped before as well. Like, here's Jesus essentially making a case for it. And talking about how he uses these parables to plant the mustard seed, and how the seed doesn't land if the person is not receptive to it, right, and so tells me, in a way, received on maybe softer hearts. I'm like flies direction, no questions, the well meaning Christians who are just so doggone uncertain about like, but we have to tell them the truth, truth truth and what's loving is what's the truth and thinking they're loving. There's Best Buy, just like slapping them in the head with the truth all the time. But like, truth doesn't have to be,

Unknown:

like,

Morgan Strehlow:

a whole, like, it can be a seed. And that's what's Jesus with me. He's, like, is received when it's

Unknown:

when you're?

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah, like, they can't. The whole truth? Yeah, maybe you just give them a little bit at a time. Like, meet them where they're at. And so, that's the part of chapter four that really

Amanda Webb:

off of that a note that I've made for myself, it said that we are called to teach, but we are not responsible for their growth. So if we are doing the right thing by teaching, and, and showing love, that's all we can do. We're not responsible for how they take what you know, we say and teach them. You know, as long as we did our part, I felt like that kind of matching, what you were saying is, you know, we're we're teaching we're called to teach, but we can't control whether or not someone accepts the message.

Morgan Strehlow:

Yeah. And I think that's what's so I think, really neat about what Kate's doing with her podcast, and her focus on like discipleship, because, you know, I don't think that I think discipleship is where you get growth, right? That's not, like, that's the purpose of discipleship, but I think so often, when you want discipleship from places where, like, we should be planting seeds, but we're, we're trying to sell people who haven't even received or accepted, like, the most basic part of the message, and may miss this whole step of like, being suitable to the person or we're trying to, you know, right into the goodness of God's kingdom.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, it's interesting, because I, it makes me makes me think of marketing. Um, and because they're sort of like the idea, right, if you have been a part of marketing for even a second, you know, that there's something called the marketing funnel, right. So there's like the stages of awareness that people have around you, or your products, or whatever. And so you know, and at each stage, they need different pieces of information in order to move them to the next stage. And sometimes they're at, you know, they're stuck at stage one for two years, and then they may fly through the other stuff. Or they get stuck somewhere in the middle. And then, you know, there's so there's like, and while I don't think that discipleship correlates really great with like, a very step by step, funnel in that way, I do think that there is sort of a level of First, there has to just be this like loving awareness of what it is, and then we can go deeper. And yes, we're responsible for bring for, you know, attempting to pull people deeper or giving them the information and the care and the formation to do that. But to Amanda's point, like there is a point at which they have to be willing to accept that right? Or they have to take ownership to have their journey in a way and so you can't pull people into a park, you can do all you can, but you can't control their response to what you do. And so that's why you sort of need all of these things that come at the whole because it's

Unknown:

important

Kate Boyd:

to be patient with people. I mean, I say that a lot like I there's a lot about my faith or my stances that have changed over the last decade, and even now I'm in a class when My classes is about social issues that pastors may have to deal with within their congregations. And there's a lot more a lot of people in my classes are a lot more progressive than I am on some things. And I have to, I'm just like, Look, I, I need y'all to understand that, you know, I know where I would like to be, I don't know that I can't be there. And I'm still in process. So I appreciate your patience and grace. And I'll err on the side of love and grace as much as I, you know, can or, and so we'll, we'll figure it out. But I appreciate you guys being patient. And they have been, which has been lovely. But everyone's sort of, you know, it's taken me 10 years to get to certain places. So everyone's sort of got their different journey. And sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards, and it's all the stuff. And so even as we're seeing that, and I think this segues into the last bit of the chapter two, is that like, even though the disciples are getting all of this vision and all this teaching, there's still something

Unknown:

that'll question, um,

Kate Boyd:

it's just not clicking, like, they still don't totally get what's happening. Um, which is, you know, when they're in the boat, and there's a storm. And they're like, and Jesus says, he's sleeping on a cushion. And they're like, Dude, don't you care that we're dying? And he's like, I don't understand. Like, of course, he woke up or beat the wind and was like, Okay, and then he's like, why are you still afraid? You know, it's interesting that even these people closest to him, don't totally get it either, you know?

Amanda Webb:

Well, it almost kind of goes back to that.

Unknown:

Kind of,

Amanda Webb:

I don't know if joke is the right word. But you know, the man that's on the roof. And it's flooding, and the helicopter comes by, and he's like, No, God will save me. And, you know, the boat comes by and all that. And it's like, he's there. And he's showing you the different ways that he can save you, but you get so fixated that it's going to happen a certain way. So like, when I read this, and he's down, you know, sleeping, he probably didn't think, you know, faze him that anything would happen, because he was there, and he knew that they were going to make it through. But the disciples didn't realize that they thought, like this big, he need to go out there and do something to make it all just go away. Whereas he was just going to help them through the storm and not just stop it.

Kate Boyd:

Well, I think to it says to me that they didn't, they don't get what's happening, like they don't get what Jesus is actually here for, or how big his mission is. And what we see instead is, you know, that they're, they're afraid that they're gonna die. But they don't understand that like, Jesus isn't done yet. Like he hasn't said you're going to die, or, like, they think that it's going to be a specific. I don't know where my words are, but that they're not totally grasping. Like, he's just told them about the kingdom and how great and big and wonderful and he's really cast a vision for them. And they're still like, Oh, no, we're gonna die. And he's like, no, don't you understand? Like, it's the small beginnings and we're about to be building this big thing. And they still don't seem to grasp that. Which in some ways, gives me great comfort. Um, as someone who, you know, is totally in on the vision of Jesus in the church, but it's still comforting, in a way to know that like, even these people closest to him, still don't totally get it and still freak out in a moment. You know,

Amanda Webb:

that great reminder that even the disciples, the disciples, were still human, because I feel like sometimes we we can forget that it's easy to forget.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Yeah. When someone becomes sort of like you know, a saint, it becomes really hard to keep them grounded as human in your head. Okay, so it's time for us to wrap and talk about our me and our we thought so for those listening your me thought that everyone will share and is what you are taking as sort of like an application point for yourself from something in these chapters and then we thought is how that's going to look within community or your interaction in the world.

Unknown:

So

Kate Boyd:

Morgan, would you like to share your me and your we? Yeah,

Morgan Strehlow:

I think that are all kind of popped back onto the last that last part that I had read about kind of being sensitive to those hearing for the first time, and like for myself, you know, I went to be less of a critic of those who you know, experience church or go to a church or who lead a church with a very different posture and approach to mastering and preaching that I personally would prefer. As someone who's grown up in inter, Jen, steeped in the Scriptures, I could read. For example, I met someone a couple years ago, we were both counselors at a church camp. And she was just like this incredible Christian leader. And when we got to talking about our testimonies, and I came to find out that she came to Christ, and a hotel room after she had watched when adult overseen sermons on the hotel television like, that's how she found Christ. And that took her on a journey to a deeper relationship. But it started out with a pastor who I've criticized a number of times in my life who I've heard other people criticize, because I just don't agree with a lot of things he does, but I, I think whether or not we agree with pastors, I think we can appreciate that there are people who come to know Jesus, gonna hear about Jesus or who are receptive of Jesus, because it's not necessarily about hearing about just for the first name, it might be hearing about Jesus for the first time from a person who, who communicates in a way that can be received by someone who's not actively following Christ. And, you know, there's a lot to critique about that, as somebody who has intellectual and loves to critique everyone for something like I'm a devil's advocate, I, but I also what to be much more generous. And the assumptions I make and like the heart of these people, these leaders do, we like to

Unknown:

have villain views,

Morgan Strehlow:

great leaders and realize like, there's something there are people who are traduced to cry for the first time for some of these leaders, and let's go ahead. And even if we would prefer that it'd be done differently. Yeah. And so there's a lot of people trying to tell Jesus how he should do his, his ministry. And he's doing it. He's doing it in a way that the religious people don't like. And so, I think it's this is both me and we

Unknown:

Yeah,

Morgan Strehlow:

I just think just having more grace

Unknown:

with you know,

Morgan Strehlow:

obviously calling out harmful stuff, but the good faith the well meaning that, like there's a reason that mega churches are drying people and as much as I don't like mega churches,

Unknown:

right? Oh,

Morgan Strehlow:

yeah, this is I don't have fully formed thoughts on it, because it's almost like I'm processing this for the first time. It's definitely something I was convicted about.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I love them. Amanda, me and weed.

Amanda Webb:

My me thought is kind of more of a reminder that and something that I've worked the last several years of my life to remember and I think it just really hit home again, back in chapter three at the very beginning with a man with the withered hand. Everything is not black and white. There is so much great area that we need to consider when speaking with people and going about our everyday life, and that we, as disciples of Christ, and as humans need to take care of the person first, and not so much, whether what they're doing is right or wrong, is putting out that helping hand to make sure that they are cared for and that we are taking, showing them love unconditionally, regardless of what has taken place. Yeah. And not just jumping to conclusions on on different situations

Unknown:

that you're on your way. Yeah, so

Amanda Webb:

like me is like, this was a great reminder. And we as humans need to make sure that we are putting the human first when they're in trouble, and not looking at everything as that was right or wrong, or yes or no, we need to take care of that person's feelings and, and put out that helping hand before anything else.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, one thing we talked about, when I was discussing chapters one and two, was how much God seems to care about bodies as much as souls. And so it's really interesting to think about, you know, as he goes around healing, he heals. And then he does, you know, his, what we would then constitute, like, categorize as ministry. So, like, he cares about both of these things. And he does that, to people who are just seeking it and not because they want to come to faith. He's doing it, you know, pro bono. So, my me is, you know, going back to the parable of the sower just like trying to be mindful of my own rootedness. Because I know how I can be tempted by ambition and status and all these things. And so to try to remember to keep that rootedness in truth and Jesus, and, you know, the Bible and interacting with it. So I think that's important because I, sometimes that falls off, because I feel like I'm doing so much of that on an intellectual level, but not always on like an emotional, connected level. And so while those things are very connected, for me, as an enneagram, five, I think it's important that I remember that personal side. And then to the way I think mine is similar to Morgan's in that, you know, remembering, I guess it's similar to both of y'all. It's remembering that God uses all sorts of things. And even if I don't agree 100% with a lot of people, there are opportunities out there all the time, and that I should be a person who presents opportunity to be a part of the kingdom of God and to be a part of sharing that vision and shaping people into people of the kingdom of God. But also remembering that for a lot of people, that journey looks a lot of different ways and to be patient, and be loving and charitable in the way that I look at other people's journeys, which I think is important. If you enjoyed our discussion, I'd love if you would rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player. This helps more people to find the show and learn along with us. Then come on over to social media, and let's talk about it. You can find me on Instagram at Kate Boyd co and on Twitter at V Kate Boyd. And don't forget to check the show notes to also follow and hang out with our contributors today. Thank you so much for joining us.