In a special excerpt from his online D.Min. course on Mark, Prof. Jim Voelz discusses the Gospel pericope for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 18), in the context of the Year B lectionary
By Andrew Bartelt Literary Context 1. The pericope continues Mark 7. The near goal of the narrative is Mark 8, skipped in this Markan section of the lectionary, but thematically where the story is headed. So who is this Jesus? Is he the Christ/Messiah? Thus these stories are secondarily about faith and primarily about Jesus. So ..