Re: Cephas (Weeden)

cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu (Carl W. Conrad) wrote:

>Regarding chapter 4, the teaching of the disciples in secret seems to be 
>surrounded with heavy irony. Even the phrasing of the antithesis in 4:11, 
>"humin ... ekeinois de tois exw" raises questions regarding whether or 
>how many of the disciples are actually "insiders," and then in 4:13 he 
>tells them, "you don't understand THIS parable? How are you going to 
>understand ANY parable?" Inasmuch as that first parable is carefully 
>enclosed in parenthetical warnings about listening if one has ears and in 
>view of the fact that the interpretation of the parable in 4:14ff. seems 
>pointed at least in part at the "soil" qualities of disciples as 
>listeners, it's hard to take this declaration that the disciples are 
>given to know the mysteries of the kingdom as unqualified. What seems to 
>me suggested is that even among "the disciples and those about Jesus" 
>there are both "insiders" and "outsiders," the "outsiders" of which group 
>are not going to grasp the messianic secret until after the resurrection.

     It is good for us to remember, as Carl Conrad implies, that we observe
the disciples from the other side of the crucifixion and resurrection.  Many
of the things Jesus did and said are only clear in the light of what happened
on Good Friday and afterward. (Cf. Jn. 16:12, 25.)  If we allow the disciples
that very human quality of simply not having infinite understanding, then
what Weeden saw as Marks polemic against the disciples may, in reality, be
the true picture of their struggles in coming to terms with who Jesus is - a
process that wasnt even *nearly* complete until after the crucifixion and
resurrection - .

     Seeing the messianic secret in light of Jesus conscience of His destiny
to crucifixion may also be helpful and iluminating.  One can aprehend what
must be at least a major reason for Jesus keeping his messiahship secret
when one considers that when He did pull out all the stops on Palm Sunday and
encourage his messiahship to be openly proclaimed, he was crucified within a
week!  This also would agree with what John says of the Lords attitude
toward His impending death - that it was a volitional act on His part - "...I
lay down my life , that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but
I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to
take it again" (Jn. 10:17,18).

David Moore